The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

December 18, 2013

Manure spill reply leads to call for hog permits

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A hog farm in southeast Iowa run by a Carlyle, Ill., corporation has become a battleground between environmental groups, state officials responsible for protecting the environment and modern farming operations that consolidate thousands of animals in confinement buildings.

Environmental and community activist groups including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Environmental Integrity Project, and the Humane Society of the United States have been increasing pressure in recent years on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to step up enforcement of environmental regulations against hog farms, which they say pollute the state's rivers and streams too frequently with manure spills.

The groups want hog farms to be forced to obtain Clean Water Act permits, which would require them to conform to stricter rules by spelling out specific changes that could include costly upgrades of manure storage equipment and other measures. The permit process could also result in increased fines for future spills.

The focus now is on the Maschoffs farm near Keosauqua, an operation where 7,500 hogs generate 11 million gallons of liquefied manure a year. Last November, the farm spilled thousands of gallons when an underground pipe clogged and broke under the pressure.

That spill has become part of a dispute over how Iowa oversees such facilities.

The state has resisted increasing the regulatory burden for the hog farms because it would increase costs and signal a change in the farm-friendly perception Iowa has develop to attract the industry, which generated nearly $7 billion in cash receipts in the state last year. Iowa is the nation's leading pork producer with about 21 million hogs on farms, nearly a third of the nation's 68 million animals.

Under pressure from environmental groups, the DNR in September reached an agreement with the EPA to inspect more farms and more strictly enforce penalties for manure spills. The agreement requires those enforcement rules including a permit process to be developed by March and finalized by next September.

Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • Stuff the Bus photo United Way stuffs the bus for Operation Backpack

    OSKALOOSA — United Way of Mahaska County staff stuffed a bus with donated school supplies Tuesday morning to benefit needy students around the county.This is the third year for the Stuff the Bus program that the United Way has sponsored.“It’s a schoo

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Red Rock Dam 2.jpg North Tailwater to close Aug. 4

    The North Tailwater area near the Red Rock Dam will be closed to the public beginning Aug. 4 to enable construction of hydroelectric facilities at the Dam. The closure will extend until construction of the project is completed in the spring of 2018.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 31, 2014

  • Centerville man violates sex offender registry

    A Centerville man with multiple felony convictions in Monroe County was recently sentenced in the Appanoose County Courthouse for OWI and sex offender violation.

    July 31, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Brownsworth takes over helm at Van Buren hospital KEOSAUQUA — Ray Brownsworth officially started as Van Buren County Hospital’s new chief executive officer on Monday. Employees were introduced to and visited with their new administrator during a morning coffee session. Brownsworth was previously the

    July 30, 2014

  • streetscape July 29.jpg Paving may begin late next week

    The Third Street project in Knoxville is about three weeks behind, but paving may begin late next week. 

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • Muscatine named Blue Zones community MUSCATINE — Muscatine has been named a certified Blue Zones Community. Certification recognizes Muscatine’s community transformation through successful implementation of the Blue Zones Project. Community leaders, volunteers and organizations througho

    July 30, 2014

  • Former Centerville teacher drowns in Creston

    A long-time Centerville Community School District teacher and coach has been identified as the man dive teams recovered from a southeast Iowa lake on Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National