For immediate release -- January 10, 2006.
Contact Eric Tabor -- 515-281-5191.
A.G. Sues Dairy for Water Pollution Violations
Suit alleges violations by Plymouth Dairy Farms Inc. in northwest Iowa.
Le Mars, Iowa.
Attorney General Tom Miller filed a lawsuit
today alleging repeated water pollution and manure-handling violations
by Plymouth Dairy Farms Inc., a 2850-head dairy cattle operation located
south of Le Mars in northwest Iowa.
lawsuit alleges that cattle manure escaped from the dairy's settling
basins in September and October 2004 and ultimately discharged into a
nearby unnamed tributary of Plymouth Creek. Plymouth Dairy Farms failed
to notify the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) of the October
manure release, the suit alleges.
The suit also alleges that Plymouth Dairy Farms had excessive levels of manure stored in its settling basin during August,
September, and October 2004. It also alleges that in 2005 Plymouth failed to maintain a current manure management plan
and failed to keep copies of manure sales forms and manure application agreements as required.
The suit stated that the DNR received an anonymous complaint in October 2004 that the road ditch east of Plymouth Dairy
"was full of manure." When DNR officials investigated, they observed that manure was discharging into the unnamed
tributary at a rate of at least 100 gallons per minute. Downstream of the discharge, the stream "was murky and emitted a
strong manure odor" and showed extremely high levels of ammonia nitrogen and fecal matter, the suit said.
The matter was investigated by the DNR. The Environmental Protection Commission referred the matter to the Attorney
General for judicial enforcement on September 19, 2005.
lawsuit was filed in Plymouth Country District Court in LeMars. It
asks the court to assess civil penalties and to issue a permanent injunction
prohibiting any future violations.
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