THE Maschhoffs LLC recently entered into a consent agreement with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regarding repairs and improvements to a manure storage system at one of the company's hog facilities in southeast Iowa.
In November, The Maschhoffs reported a spill to the Iowa DNR after an employee pulled the plug from a shallow pit under one of the swine buildings and an underground pipe clogged, causing an overflow into a dry creek bed.
Under the terms of the consent order, which has been signed by The Maschhoffs and Iowa DNR director Chuck Gipp, the company will make a significant investment to repair the manure storage system at the facility.
"A consent order like this is the most effective way of ensuring that the necessary improvements to avoid future discharges get done as quickly as possible," said Bill Ehm, administrator of the Iowa DNR Environmental Services Division.
As part of the agreement, The Maschhoffs will repair the plumbing system and connection points at the hog farm's collection sump, as well as any other remedial measures deemed necessary by a final report being prepared by an engineering firm.
Additionally, the company agreed to pay $10,000 in fines following the manure discharge that occurred at the facility, which houses approximately 7,500 sows.
"At The Maschhoffs, we are committed to fully complying with DNR rules and state environmental laws to protect air and water quality in the communities where we operate. We always strive to be in full compliance with environmental protection laws wherever we do business. It's part of our company's culture," Tim Laatsch, executive vice president of production operations for The Maschhoffs, said.
Terms of the consent order are enforceable by law and cannot be appealed under the terms of the agreement.
"We believe we have achieved the best outcome when we can get producers to agree on improving facilities and operations that will prevent manure from going to where we don't want it to go: into the water," Ehm said.