A member of the state Environmental Protection Commission who runs a large-scale livestock operation called state officials Monday — to report a manure spill. Heidi Vittetoe of Washington says a person hired to apply manure as fertilizer on farmland was working in Keokuk County Monday when a hose malfunctioned, and about 36-hundred gallons of manure spilled. Vittetoe says a nearby streambed was dry, so no fish or water were endangered, but an earthen dam was built within 15 minutes. The manure-soaked soil within that dam is being scooped up and spread out, again, as a fertilizer. Vittetoe has been criticized by foes of large-scale livestock operations, but Vittetoe says Monday’s spill was a matter of physics, not ethics. She says the lesson she hopes is spread through her experience is that it’s important to call for help and notify state officials immediately when there’s any kind of manure spill, no matter how small.
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