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Menahga feedlot agrees to pay fine

Dhs Farms and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

(MPCA) recently reached an agreement that required the facility to pay

$30,000 for alleged feedlot violations.

The feedlot, owned by David

Sabin and Marci Burkel, is located east of Menahga, in northern Wadena

County's Shell River Township.

According to MPCA and Wadena County feedlot staff inspection reports for

2009 and 2010, the feedlot was permitted to hold a maximum of 300 head

of feeder cattle, but had more than 1,700 head housed there during two

inspections that took place nearly a year apart. When a feedlot exceeds

1,000 head of cattle, it is required to obtain a National Pollution

Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Dhs Farms failed to obtain

the NPDES permit, and failed to notify local zoning authorities of its


The facility also allowed manure and manure-contaminated runoff to

discharge into area waters, failed to notify the MPCA of the discharges,

and failed to keep records on file of manure transfers for land

application, according to the MPCA.

In addition to paying the $30,000 civil penalty, Dhs Farms is completing

a series of corrective actions.

When calculating penalties, the MPCA takes into account how seriously

the violation affected the environment, whether it is a first-time or

repeat violation, and how promptly the violation was reported to

appropriate authorities. It also attempts to recover the calculated

economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in

a timely manner. For a comprehensive list of enforcement actions by the

MPCA, refer to the agency's web site at