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December 27, 2010

Attorney General Seeks Compliance, Penalty from Calhoun County Swine Producer

(ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa)  Attorney General Tom Miller seeks a permanent injunction and a civil penalty against a Calhoun County swine producer who, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday, land-applied manure without an annual manure management plan update, and failed to pay compliance fees.

Miller filed the suit in Calhoun County District Court against Lane Bachman of Lake City.  Bachman owns and operates a swine confinement feeding operation with 1,000 nursery hogs and 2,000 grow to finish hogs.

According to the petition, Bachman admitted to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that he land-applied manure without valid annual manure management plans in the fall of 2009 and spring of 2010, and indicated to the DNR that he intended to land-apply manure again this fall.  The lawsuit alleges that Bachman removed manure from a manure storage structure that is part of a confinement feeding operation without an approved manure management plan update.

The lawsuit also alleges that Bachman failed to submit annual manure management plans in 2009 and 2010, and failed to pay the 2010 annual compliance fee.

Miller has requested that a Calhoun County District Judge issue a permanent injunction against Bachman.  As part of the request, Miller seeks a judicial order requiring Bachman to submit updated manure management plans to the state, and to enjoin Bachman from further violations.  Miller also requests that a judge order Bachman to pay the overdue compliance fee.

In 2009 the Iowa Department of Natural Resources assessed a $4,500 administrative penalty after Bachman failed to submit a manure management plan, and assessed a $3,500 administrative penalty in 2006 for a similar violation.  In both cases, according to the petition, Bachman also failed to pay manure management plan compliance fees.

“Manure management plans, which are generally required by law and submitted by a vast majority of animal feeding operations, help the Iowa Department of Natural Resources protect our environment,” said Attorney General Tom Miller.  “These plans help the state ensure that a piece of land is adequate before an operation applies manure.  The law creates a fair playing field for confinement feeding operations and environmentally safe farm fields for Iowans.”

Manure management plan requirements apply to all but the smallest animal feeding operations.  The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission refers matters to the Iowa Attorney General for judicial enforcement when DNR administrative enforcement efforts have not succeeded.

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