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Peterson, Iowa, hog farmer must pay $15,000 for manure-related fishkill

Peterson, Iowa, hog farmer must pay $15,000 for manure-related fishkill

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SPENCER, Iowa | A Peterson, Iowa, hog farmer has been ordered to pay a $15,000 penalty for an illegal manure application that resulted in a fish kill last fall.

District Judge Nancy Whittenburg filed a consent decree Tuesday in Clay County District Court in which Bruce Click, who owns and operates a 4,000-head hog finishing unit, admitted to the violations, agreed to pay the civil penalty and a permanent injunction against further violations.

"We think this is a sizable penalty," said Geoff Greenwood, an Iowa Attorney General's Office spokesman.

The site is in the 1400 block of 480th Street.

The Attorney General's Office said that last September, Click surface applied manure without incorporating it into the soil as required. He also ran a hose from his confinement building into an adjacent corn field for 400-500 feet, where the hose ended in a large pool of manure.

The manure eventually ran into a surface tile intake and discharged into an unnamed tributary of the Little Sioux River. The manure turned the water "a brown, murky color with a strong manure odor," resulting in toxic ammonia concentrations and a fish kill.

Click on Wednesday said he had a water leak and manure storage pits filled faster than he expected. He said it was not intentional.

"It was an emergency situation," Click said.  

-- Nick Hytrek

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