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A big farm in southern Cayuga County faces no less than eight environmental legislation violation citations and monetary penalties after the estimated 100,000 gallons of liquid manure overflowed from a storage pit earlier this month.

The state’s Division of Environmental Conservation issued a discover of violation on March 19 to Ashland Farm, a dairy based mostly on Route 34B within the metropolis of Venice, in reference to a reported spill on March 7. After DEC investigators responded to the farm on the day of the spill, their investigation uncovered quite a few violations of the state’s environmental legislation, in line with the discover.

DEC mentioned an “unknown quantity” of the overflowed trash entered a storm drain that spilled into an unnamed tributary of Nice Gully Creek, which is itself a tributary of Cayuga Lake. Investigators noticed that the trash reached the mouth of Nice Gully Creek. No killed fish had been noticed.

Eileen O’Connor, director of environmental well being for Cayuga County, mentioned the county had been made conscious of the spill. The contamination didn’t come close to any public ingesting water consumption pipes, she mentioned.

As a part of the speedy response to the overflow to cut back its manure storage ranges, Ashland has labored with neighboring farms which have the capability to take a few of the waste from their lagoons, and he’s additionally figuring out crop fields the place a portion materials could be safely propagated.

The DEC violation discover contains citations to the farm for failing to watch its manure storage constructions, which included a scarcity of file preserving and storage degree markers which are required underneath the license to Ashland’s focus feed operation issued in 2017 to 1,167 younger animals and 1,800 mature dairy cattle, though it’s not recognized what number of animals are presently saved.

Investigators additionally mentioned the farm didn’t observe its emergency plan on March 7 as a result of it failed to dam culverts “to comprise and eradicate spills,” in line with the discover of violation.

Along with the shortcoming to watch and observe contingency plan citations, the DEC mentioned the farm had modified or commissioned three waste storage constructions with out certification of property compliance.

“Primarily based on an preliminary overview of the power’s operations, obtainable storage and obtainable land base, it seems that the power could have expanded past the capabilities of the farm to function underneath the phrases. CAFO license “, signifies the discover of violation.

The server farm didn’t reply to a message requesting touch upon the DEC violation discover.

O’Connor introduced the March 7 incident to the eye of the Cayuga County Board of Well being at its month-to-month assembly on Tuesday. Council members had been disturbed by what they heard.

“To me, this feels like mismanagement,” mentioned Dr John Cosachov, chairman of the board.

He famous that March is a time of 12 months when farms normally put together for snowmelt and heavy rains, so it is disturbing to listen to that their manure storage ranges have been allowed to exceed capability. .

“If the lagoon is already on the level the place it’s about to overflow, that’s the recipe for catastrophe,” he mentioned. “It form of suggests to me that there’s a degree of ‘I do not care’ right here.”

The council requested if a heavy rain or soften occasion contributed to the March 7 overflow, however O’Connor mentioned there was no indication that this was the case. Nationwide Climate Service information present {that a} cumulative 0.13 inches of precipitation fell in close by Auburn from March 1-7.

Board member Keith Batman, a county lawmaker whose district contains land owned by Ashland Farm, requested O’Connor to maintain the council knowledgeable of the monetary penalties being imposed on the farm and he prompt that the county d ” inform the DEC {that a} important positive is acceptable. .

“If the investigation signifies that it was actually simply negligence, there’s a huge distinction between that and an accident,” Batman mentioned. “I hope DEC is conscious of those variations.”

Primarily based on his conversations with DEC, O’Connor mentioned the state “takes this very significantly. … I consider there’s going to be important enforcement motion.”

When requested about the opportunity of a monetary penalty, DEC instructed the Citizen that “DEC’s investigation is ongoing and extra data shall be offered when obtainable.”

Within the discover of violation, the company instructed the farm it might face civil penalties of as much as $ 37,500 per day for sure violations.

The farm has additionally been ordered to take quite a lot of corrective actions, “together with a technical evaluation of current manure storage techniques, evaluation of storage capability, day by day storage degree reviews and upgrading. replace of the power’s complete nutrient administration plan, ”the company instructed Citizen. “CED continues to supervise the implementation of those everlasting corrective measures and operational modifications to stop future incidents and make sure the safety of public well being and the surroundings.”

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