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Animal confinement operators cited for lack of reports, one fined for manure spill

Posted at 1:30 PM, Apr 20, 2023

Several animal confinement owners were recently fined by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for failing to promptly submit reports related to their manure disposal and one was fined for a spill of about 1,000 gallons of manure.

The spill happened near Parnell in eastern Iowa in December. A manure wagon driven by Jon Gingerich — who operates two hog confinements with a total of about 4,900 swine — got stuck and spilled manure into a roadway ditch, according to DNR.

Gingerich removed the manure and contaminated soil from the ditch, but the DNR discovered that Gingerich’s manure applicator certification had expired about a year before the incident.

“Manure applicators are required to obtain training and certifications to ensure they are properly trained,” a recent DNR administrative order said. “Applying manure without the proper training and certification increases the risk (of) a manure-related discharge during application.”

The DNR fined Gingerich $2,000.

Other producers cited for reporting violations

Others were cited for failing to submit required reports for how they handle the manure generated by their facilities:

— Rick Nikkel, of Sully in central Iowa, was fined $2,000 for untimely submittals of manure management plans from 2017 to 2022. Those plans are important to ensure the field application of manure doesn’t saturate the ground with too many nutrients that can pollute the state’s waterways, according to DNR. Nikkel operates an animal confinement with 3,200 swine and an open feedlot with 450 cattle.

— Hy-Line North America LLC was fined $3,000 for untimely submittals of manure management plans between 2017 and 2023. It has a facility near Clarion in northern Iowa that has about 228,000 chickens.

— Doghouse Pork LLC was fined $4,500 for untimely filings of manure management plans from 2020 to 2022. Its facilities near Remsen in northwest Iowa have a total of about 4,400 swine.

Iowa Capital Dispatch is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Iowa Capital Dispatch maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kathie Obradovich for questions: Follow Iowa Capital Dispatch on Facebook and Twitter.

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