Pork producers cited over manure, carcass spills


Seth Slabaugh, Muncie Star Press (IN)

March 13, 2019


PORTLAND, Ind. State environmental regulators have filed complaints alleging that three Jay and Randolph County pork producers spilled manure as well as runoff from a compost pile of carcasses into waters of the state, resulting in two fish kills.


IDEM alleges:


Tom Homan, owner of a farm confining 7,680 hogs and 400 cattle at 1947 E. Division Road, Portland, land-applied manure last Oct. 2 that entered a field tile and migrated to a ditch, where it ponded before discharging into the Salamonie River, causing a fish kill.


According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Homan cooperated during a DNR investigation and paid $1,054 in damages for killing 3,185 fish and 61 crayfish, agency spokesman Marty Benson said.


Excessive rain played a triple role in the manure release, Scott Kreuzman, who is Homan's certified technical service provider, told The Star Press.


First, the facility's lagoon level rose more rapidly than normal last summer. Second, the rain had already delayed harvest, meaning the manure had to be irrigated over a standing crop rather than incorporated directly into the soil. And third, the ground was more saturated than usual for the end of September.


The manure application followed an approved irrigation plan that Kreuzeman personally developed.


"The ... application was done correctly, but unfortunate circumstances caused the nutrient release into the creek," Kreuzman said via email...