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For immediate release Monday, May 17, 2010.
Contact Bob Brammer 515-281-6699. Rbrammer@ag.state.ia.us

A.G. Lawsuit: Water Pollution Violations by Lee County Swine-Feeding Operation

Keokuk. Attorney General Tom Miller filed an environmental enforcement lawsuit Monday alleging that Pieper, Inc., a large swine confinement operation in Lee County, has had repeated water pollution and animal feeding operation violations. [Go to lawsuit.]

The suit alleged that on March 19, 2009, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources received a complaint that manure was being land-applied on a field at the Pieper operation with an irrigation gun, and manure was running off the field into a drainage ditch.

DNR officials investigated the next day and observed liquid that was “green in color and had an odor of hog manure” running off a Pieper field. The DNR took laboratory samples of the liquid at several points and found “extremely high concentrations of ammonia.”

The lawsuit also alleged Pieper Inc. had failed to submit a required complete manure management plan for the facility, despite numerous reminders from the DNR. The suit also alleged Pieper land-applied manure without proper certification of the operators, misapplied manure using a spray irrigation system, and failed to notify the DNR of the manure release.

The suit also noted that Pieper Inc. had been the subject of environmental enforcement administrative orders issued by the DNR in 1978, 1991 and 2006 for a variety of confinement feeding operation violations.

The lawsuit asks the court to assess a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per day per violation, and to prohibit any future violations.

The Pieper Inc. operation consists of a 7,100-head gestation, farrowing and finishing operation and a 1,300-head nursery operation, contained in ten buildings. Manure storage is in below-building pits and a large slurry tank. The operation is located a few miles northeast of Ft. Madison, at 3638-190th Street, Wever, Iowa. Michael Pieper is the president of Pieper, Inc.

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