Thursday, February 24, 2005

Manure Piles and Air Quality 

The Guyfriend sent me a link this morning to the burning news story about the Nebraska feedlot owner whose 2000-ton (yes, a ton of tons) manure pile had spontaneously ignited and then smoldered for four months until finally being extinguished last week.

What changed this little article from being just another "oddly enough" items and into a postable piece was that the owner was assisted in his efforts to extinguish the steaming pile of poo by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (Air Quality Division). It seems that the smoke, pollutants and/or particulates were getting him into deep shit with the Clean Air Act and it had to be stopped. Yes, I'm taking Environmental Law this semester, so these things now attract my attention.

Feedlot owner David Dickinson believes that the addition of grass clippings from the City of Milford may have played a part in igniting the manure, as the clippings are more combustible than the cowchips. He won't be taking the clippings in the future. Seems like something he might have researched before mixing them on in.

In case you're considering starting your own massive dung pile, better check out the Nebraska DEQ Livestock Waste Control Regulations first. FYI - here's Dickinson's notice of completed DEQ application for his Midwest Feeding Company's livestock waste control facility.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:27 AM