Manure Manager

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Ohio EPA settles with manure applicator


June 29, 2010
By Manure Manager

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June 25, 2010, Columbus, OH – Custom
manure applicator Eight Star Farms Inc. has agreed to pay the Ohio
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a $1,000 penalty for discharging manure.


June 25, 2010, Columbus, OH – Custom
manure applicator Eight Star Farms Inc. has agreed to pay the Ohio
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
a $1,000 penalty for discharging manure.

The
discharge, which occurred in early April 2008, is alleged to have killed more
than 6,000 fish when the manure flowed off a Licking County farm field into a
tributary of Lake Fork.

Eight
Star Farms of Celina, OH, also must pay more than $1,760 to the Ohio Department
of Natural Resources
for the fish kill.

Hatfield
7 Dairy (Centerburg, OH) hired Eight Star Farms to
remove liquid manure from a diluted storage pond and apply it on a nearby
135-acre corn stubble field. Eight Star Farms did so on April 7, 2008, at the
estimated rate of 1,050 gallons per minute for a total of 13,000 gallons per
acre.

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The
next day, a manure spill in Lake Fork, a tributary of the North Fork Licking
River, was reported to Ohio EPA and Hatfield 7 Dairy. Inspectors from the Ohio Department
of Agriculture’s Livestock Environmental Permitting Program
, the Ohio
Department of Natural Resources
and Ohio EPA responded to the scene and
discovered that a field tile in the road ditch on Drury Road was discharging
manure into a tributary of Lake Fork. 

A
hole in a transfer hose was believed to have leaked approximately 12,000
gallons of manure into the tile, ditch and stream. Attempts to plug the tile
were unsuccessful. 

State
inspectors concluded that the over application of manure caused the runoff and
the fish kill. Field tests showed Lake Fork had elevated concentrations of
ammonia and low levels of dissolved oxygen, creating conditions in which the
fish could not survive. Excess nutrients also create nuisance growths of
aquatic weeds and algae, which can have detrimental impacts far downstream.

The
state also determined that standard best management practices for surface
application of liquid manure were not followed, including adjusting application
rates to avoid ponding and surface runoff; setbacks from grassed waterways; and
monitoring fields during and after application for runoff or subsurface
drainage.

In
May 2008, the Ohio Department of Agriculture suspended the certified livestock
manager certificate of Eugene Homan, the operator of Eight Star Farms. 

Incidents
like this can be prevented when agricultural producers learn about the
regulations and best management practices for manure management. An abundance
of information is available to assist producers with manure management. Some
programs offer financial assistance. 

Technical
assistance is available from the local Soil and Water Conservation Districts,
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Ohio State University
Extension
service for developing conservation plans, including best management
practices for nutrient management, manure management, and practices to minimize
impacts to water quality, while improving crop and livestock production.

USDA
Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentive
Program
offers the opportunity for financial assistance for installation and
implementation of best management practices.

Several
of the Lake Erie and Mississippi River basin local grant opportunities include
implementation incentives to encourage new best management practices.

For
more information on manure management or agricultural best management
practices, contact the ODA Livestock Environmental Permitting Program at (614)
387-0470 or lepp@agri.ohio.gov or a local soil and water conservation district.

To report a spill, contact
the 24-hour Ohio EPA hotline (1-800-282-9378).


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