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Employees "kinked up the hose" but it didn't work, according to DEC documents.
Employees "kinked up the hose" but it didn't work, according to DEC documents.

Madrid's Mapleview Dairy may face fine for 1000 gallon manure spill

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A Madrid Dairy could face a fine of up to $37,000 from the state Department of Environmental Conservation after it spilled 1000 gallons of liquid manure from its manure storage lagoon into Brandy Brook on July 6.

The headline of this story formerly read "10,000 gallon." NCPR regrets the error.--ed.

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Nora Flaherty
Digital Editor, News

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Stephen Litwhiler, a spokesman for the DEC, said, "I think we were there later that day we investigated and saw there was manure stained ground in a trail leading down to the water, there was no evidence of a fish kill or anything."

Litwhiler said with a spill of this type the chief danger is that the liquid manure, which is generally used as fertilizer on dairy farms, would “overfertilize” the brook and lead to either a heavy growth of algae or other plants in the brook, or that it would break down and cause the oxygen to be drawn out of the water.

He said fortunately investigators didn’t see either of those results and at this point, they’re unlikely to occur in the future.

The DEC served Mapleview Dairy with notice of a violation late last week. Now the dairy is required to schedule a meeting with the DEC in Watertown to talk about penalties and how to prevent any future spills.

Luanne King, a partner at Mapleview, said the dairy reported the spill promptly and the size of the spill should be kept in perspective. "If you see any of the manure application equipment in the fields, those typically hold between five to nine thousand gallons. So one thousand gallons — I guess that maybe puts it in a relative sense for you," King said.

Brandy Brook doesn’t provide drinking water to any communities and although it does flow into the St. Lawrence, Litwhiler said in a river of that size a spill of this size won’t have an impact.

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