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Injunction filed against hog producer

By Staff | Dec 31, 2010

By LINDSEY

MUTCHLER

For Farm News

ROCKWELL CITY – A permanent injunction and civil suit have been filed in Calhoun County against an area swine producer for failure to comply with manure management plan requirements.

The Department of Natural Resources filed a petition with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller on Dec. 24 against Lane Bachman, of Lake City, according to a press release from Miller’s office.

Allegedly Bachman land-applied manure without an annual manure management plan update and failed to pay compliance fees. Bachman owns and operates a swine confinement feeding operation with 1,000 nursery hogs and 2,000 grow to finish hogs.

According to the petition, Bachman admitted to the DNR that he land-applied manure without a valid annual manure management plan in the fall of 2009 and the fall of 2010. Additionally, he indicated to the DNR that he intended to land-apply manure again in the fall of 2011.

The lawsuit alleges that Bachman removed the manure from a manure storage structure that is part of the feeding operation without an approved updated plan.

It also alleges Bachman failed to pay the 2010 annual compliance fee.

A spokesman for the DNR, Kevin Baskins, said the plans ensure manure isn’t over-applied on land.

“They basically tell us where the manure will be applied and in what quantities,” Baskins said.

In 2009, the DNR assessed a $4,500 administrative penalty after Bachman failed to submit a plan and assessed a $3,500 administrative penalty in 2006 for a similar violation.

Since Bachman hasn’t complied with the DNR administrative request, the department sought legal action.

Miller has requested that a Calhoun County district judge issue a permanent injunction against Bachman, requiring him to submit updated manure management plans to the state and pay the overdue compliance fee.

“These plans help the state ensure that a piece of land is adequate before an operation applies manure,” Miller wrote in the press release. “The law creates a fair playing field for confinement feeding operations and environmentally safe farm fields for Iowans.”

Baskins said there were 5,360 manure management plans issued throughout the state through 2009. In 2010, a dozen noncompliance cases were referred to the attorney general’s office.

“This is a last resort in regard to enforcing these plans,” Baskins said.

The plan requirements apply to all but the smallest animal feeding operations. The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission refers matters to the Attorney General for judicial enforcement when DNR administrative efforts haven’t succeeded.

Contact Lindsey Mutchler at (515) 573-2141 or lindsey@messengernews.net

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