Pennsylvania farmer must improve manure management


PITTSBURGH – The owner of a farm in Brothersvalley Township, Somerset County, must implement corrective actions in response to an Aug. 16 manure spill that killed most of the aquatic life in seven miles of Glades Creek.
The Department of Environmental Protection issued the order against owner Alvin Fisher, who operates a dairy farm near Berlin, for the spill that also affected a portion of Stonycreek River.
Fisher’s manure storage facility, which was constructed improperly, allowed storm water inside the unit. After a severe storm in August, some 27,000 gallons of manure overwhelmed the storage area and flowed into Glades Creek and Stonycreek River.
Best management practices. The department’s order requires Fisher to install best management practices on the farm by February. These improvements could include the construction of a new manure storage facility or modifications to the existing facility.
Other best management practices could include the installation of surface water diversions and roof gutters to control storm water or sources of water, such as wash or rinse waters.
Nutrient management plan. The department also is requiring Fisher to employ by Dec. 2 a certified nutrient management specialist to prepare a nutrient management plan for his farm and develop interim manure management measures to reduce the risk of a waterway spill.
The plan must be submitted to the Somerset County Conservation District by Feb. 2, 2006, for its review and written approval.
Inspection. In addition, Fisher also must empty, clean and prepare the existing manure storage facility by Dec. 2 for inspection by the nutrient specialist, the department and the Somerset County Conservation District.


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