LICKING FARMER TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACCIDENTAL POLLUTION OF LOCAL WATERWAY
Over $20,000 in restitution paid
COLUMBUS, OH – A Licking County farmer unintentionally created toxic runoff from a farm field that temporarily depleted oxygen levels in the water and killed over 49,000 aquatic inhabitants, including fish, according the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
On August 3, 2008, Wildlife Officers, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture were called to Otter Fork Creek to investigate a fish kill. The Division of Wildlife was also notified of a second fish kill along the East Fork Rattlesnake, located just west of Hartford, on August 4.
The investigation revealed that a farmer had applied approximately 530,000 gallons of corn syrup material, a by-product of ethanol production, with a mixture of cow manure to a 65-acre field. A large rainfall occurred before the mixture could be incorporated into the soil and created a runoff that drained into the creeks.
Results of water testing along the creeks indicated very low dissolved oxygen and a white film on the East Fork Rattle Snake and Otter Fork creeks.
Officers also found pitch black water, which is the result of ethanol decomposition.
The farmers insurance agreed to pay $20,213.24.00 in restitution to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
The Division of Wildlife encourages anyone who is aware of a possible violation of wildlife laws to call the Turn In a Poacher (TIP) line at 1-800-POACHER. Callers can remain anonymous.