March 17, 2008
West Plains, Mo. — A dairy operation in south central Missouri that was cited for violations of the state clean water law must comply with the law in the future and allow access to state regulators at all times to ensure compliance, Attorney General Jay Nixon said today. Howell County Circuit Judge David Paul Evans signed the Joint Preliminary Stipulation and Order against Bill Collins, owner/operator of Collins Dairy in Pottersville. Nixon filed a lawsuit against Collins last August.
Collins owns and operates Collins Dairy, a small operation with approximately 200 to 250 milking cows. As part of its daily operations, the dairy produces animal waste that is required to be land-applied in accordance with the Missouri Clean Water Law and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). After receiving eight complaints dating back to May 2004, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued violations of the law in July 2005 and February 2007, due to waste running off into nearby waters of the state. Two neighbors of Collins reported that manure was polluting their private wells, and coming into the water in their homes. Other complainants reported horrible odors and manure running off into area creeks.
“Today’s court order is geared toward ensuring that this operation is complying with state clean water laws, as well as providing tools to ensure that compliance,” Nixon said. “The order also allows my office to seek appropriate legal relief in the event of any future violations of the law, further holding Collins Dairy accountable.”
Under the order, the defendant must not violate the Missouri Clean Water Law through action or inaction, including operating the dairy so that no water contaminants discharge into the waters of the state. The defendant is also required to allow entry to the site and access to the dairy operation to representatives of DNR and NCRS, including the right to store equipment and vehicles to monitor the operation; the right to use at their expense utilities that serve the site; and the continued right to conduct water quality inspections. The order also allows the state to apply to the court for further orders of relief to enforce the order if future violations of the Missouri Clean Water Law occur.