SIOUX CENTER—A Sioux Center agricultural business was recently fined by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Bar-K-Cattle LLC and the DNR entered into an administrative consent order on Monday, Oct. 7, for the purpose of resolving violations of:
- Animal feeding operation regulations and water quality laws.
- Regulations resulting from discharges from an open-feedlot animal feeding operation owned by Bar-K-Cattle.
A consent order indicates the DNR has voluntarily entered into a legally enforceable agreement with the other party.
According to the DNR’s six-page order, Bar-K-Cattle, headquartered at 1275 Seventh Ave. N.E., has been required to:
- Pay an administrative penalty of $5,000.
- Implement a plan of action to prevent further discharges from the animal feeding operation’s feedlot.
- Comply with the laws and regulations governing animal feeding operations and water quality.
Bar-K-Cattle owns an open-feedlot animal feeding operation located at 3577 Grant Ave., about three miles northwest of Sioux Center.
According to the DNR’s order, the feedlot has a capacity of approximately 9,000 finishing cattle.
On April 11, Nutrient Advisors of West Point, NE, a consulting firm for Bar-K-Cattle, contacted the DNR to report a release from the animal feeding operation’s settled open feedlot effluent basin for manure.
The next day, DNR environmental specialists visited the feedlot to investigate and determine whether a discharge was occurring.
In the northern part of the feedlot, the DNR observed an ice jam plugging a tile inlet that assisted with draining water from the fields to the north of the feedlot.
This caused fresh water from the fields to enter the feedlot drainage systems leading to the animal feeding operation’s settling basins.
When the DNR observed the settling basins, they documented a release from them at the area where the basins flow into the settled open feedlot effluent basin.
Manure was flowing from the settling basins downhill about 50 feet to Six Mile Creek.
The creek’s water at the point of discharge was dark brown in color and had the smell of manure.
However, the creek’s water immediately upstream from the point of discharge was clear and had no discernible odor.
The department of natural resources took samples at several locations along the creek for laboratory testing, which showed highly elevated levels of multiple pollutants.
These conditions were caused by the discharge of manure from the feedlot to the creek, according to the DNR’s order.
Bar-K-Cattle set up a pump to transfer the excess manure to a secondary storage structure and stopped the discharge.
No dead fish were observed from the manure overflow into the creek.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources entered into an administrative consent order with Marcus Wollman of Pro Pumping & Ag Services LLC on Monday, Oct. 7, for the purpose of resolving violations connected with a manure discharge that occurred during land application.
According to the DNR’s six-page order, Pro Pumping, based in Mitchell, SD, has been required to:
- Pay an administrative penalty of $2,500.
- Ensure all manure is properly handled and land applied.
- Develop and implement a standard operating procedure for inspection and testing of manure handling equipment.
Pro Pumping, a commercial manure application business, was hired by Van Voorst Dairy near Sioux Center to apply manure from the dairy to a nearby field.
In May 2018, Russ Gradert called the DNR’s emergency spill line and reported manure was flowing into an unnamed tributary of Six Mile Creek on the north side of his Sioux County property.
A DNR environmental specialist spoke with Gradert, who reported the manure was coming from the field to the north and indicated he dammed the flow to stop the manure from continuing to enter the tributary.
Gradert later took the DNR environmental specialist to the spill area. Liquid manure was on the surface of the field to the north of the fence line and there were small pools of manure near where the manure flow entered the tributary.
According to the DNR’s order, a valve on Pro Pumping’s application equipment malfunctioned, causing the manure release.
No dead fish were observed from the manure release into the tributary.
Pro Pumping is a registered company in South Dakota, but not in Iowa.