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Farm Press Release

For immediate release - Monday, April 24, 2000.
Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699.

State Sues DeCoster Farms

Environmental Violations Alleged

CHARITON. Attorney General Tom Miller and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources today filed suit against Austin J. DeCoster, doing business as DeCoster Farms of Iowa, for water pollution and hog waste control violations occurring at a hog nursery facility located west of Derby in Lucas County.

The suit alleges that in April 1998, hog manure discharged from an open-ended eight inch waste pipe buried in the shallow soil beneath the nursery confinement building. The main waste pipe leading from manure pits under the building had plugged. The manure then flowed through the open-ended pipe, broke through the soil, and flowed under a county road then southwest and into the Chariton River.

The suit also alleges that in October 1999, the main waste pipe again plugged causing the manure pits to overflow and discharge out the building ventilation fans for at least six days. The manure flowed down the same path as the 1998 discharge, traveling approximately 1250 feet to within two-thirds of a mile of the Chariton River. DeCoster failed to report the discharge.

Subsequent inspections by the DNR, according to the suit, documented additional ongoing discharges of manure from the confinement facility.

The suit was filed in Lucas County District Court and seeks civil penalties and a permanent injunction.

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