A southeastern Minnesota hog farmer has agreed to pay a $14,000 penalty for discharging manure into waters that flow into the Zumbro River.
Craig Benedix owns a 3,000-head swine facility near Mantorville, northwest of Rochester. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) says he pumped manure from a storage pit to an adjacent field of standing corn last October. The manure then flowed from the field into nearby waterways.
Officials investigated after a citizen complained that a local creek was discolored, foaming and smelled like manure. Benedix told investigators he pumped out the pit because the manure had reached the floor slats of the swine barn above.
The MPCA says the discharge violated state laws and the conditions of Benedix's feedlot permit, including failing to prevent, report and clean up the discharge.