|07-11-03: Emergency funds available to farmers
|Aid is for manure storage facilities
By JANIE SOUTHARD
The Daily Standard
Mercer County farmers are in line for Agricultural Pollution Abatement
cost-sharing emergency funds to construct supplemental livestock manure storage
A week of heavy rains and flooding has stressed many livestock manure
storage facilities causing some to exceed their designed capacity.
A total of $30,000 in state funds is being made available to livestock
farmers in Mercer, Auglaize, Darke, Logan, and Van Wert counties from the Ohio Department
of Natural Resources Division of Soil and Water Conservation. These are the counties for
which Gov. Bob Taft declared a state of emergency as a result of flooding and storm
The funding will provide up to $1,500 per farm for emergency livestock
waste facility construction, which Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation district
technician Jerry Linn said should "pretty well cover" what needs to be done.
"Remember this is a temporary, emergency facility (excavated
in a ground area) to pump off the rainwater and not a permanent facility which might cost
as much as $60,000," Linn told The Daily Standard this morning.
Situations that qualify for the emergency funding are those where
existing manure storage is within one foot of the top of the structure.
"These emergency structures can be used only 45 days and must be
backfilled within 30 days after use is discontinued," Linn said, adding that his
office has construction guidelines available.
Payment will be made only after the backfilling is completed.
In addition, up to $1,000 is available for emergency hauling and
disposition of liquid manure to a treatment facility or to a manure storage structure with
adequate storage capacity. Again qualification terms are that the existing liquid manure
is within one foot of the top of the structure.
"Producers who have questions on what to do or what emergency help
they can get should call our office," he said.
Linn can be reached at 419-586-2548.
Of the 100 manure storage lagoons in Mercer County, Linn said so far
only six have been of concern and three of those are already out of danger.
Although Linn could not say ODNR will waive pollution violation
citations in view of the unusual flooding, he did say based on his conversation with an
ODNR official, they (ODNR) would "work with" farmers who demonstrate they are
addressing manure storage problems responsibly.
"Of course, we cannot discharge into state waters or ditches, but
wešll work with farmers any way we can," Linn said.
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