Shit Happens: Ohio Attorney General Goes After Clermont County Dairy Farm for Massive Manure Leak

Cows on the farm were found standing in a foot of manure and there were reports of "hundreds" of dead fish in a nearby stream.

Jun 9, 2021 at 1:16 pm
click to enlarge Cows standing in approximately a foot of manure on the feedlot. - Photo: Provided by Ohio Attorney General
Photo: Provided by Ohio Attorney General
Cows standing in approximately a foot of manure on the feedlot.

There seems to be a literal shit storm brewing on a Clermont County dairy farm.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed a temporary restraining order against farm owner Charles Carney for a "massive manure leak" that is polluting Moores Fork stream.

“This isn’t a farm right now. It’s a biohazard that needs cleaned up before more harm is done,” Yost says in an atypically un-pun-filled press release. “I am stepping in to start the cleanup process.”

According to the AG, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) was called after there was a report of "hundreds" of dead fish in Moores Fork. The ODA says the stream was "completely black" for at least one mile, and Carney's cows were found standing in a foot of manure.

Apparently, the farm's manure storage pond overflowed onto the property and mixed with liquid food waste.

The ODA ordered Carney to clean up his property, but after he failed to do so, Yost stepped in. The temporary restraining order says Carney violated safe manure application guidelines in Ohio’s Soil and Water Conservation laws, per the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code, and contaminated the waterway.

This isn't the only waste management issue in Clermont County to get Yost's attention recently. 

Married couple Donald and Anita Combs were ordered to pay $1.5 million in civil penalties after a Clermont County Common Pleas Court judge ruled that they had been illegally dumping significant amounts of solid waste near their home while doing business as Ace Dumpsters and Combs Trucking and Land Improvements.

“Hauling trash to anywhere but the landfill is a rotten business, so we dumped some justice on this polluter,” Yost said in a release at the time.