Manure spill leads to $6,000 fine for Custer dairy

ASSOCIATED PRESSJanuary 22, 2014 

An October 2013 manure spill that led to a week-long closure of shellfish harvesting has resulted in a possible $6,000 fine to a Whatcom County dairy.

The state Department of Agriculture reports it cited Pomeroy Dairy in Custer for the spill that raised fecal coliform levels in nearby California Creek. The department says the dairy worked to contain the spill but did not report it immediately.

State investigators say the spill was caused by a malfunctioning valve operating the manure lagoon. The malfunction sent manure to a pipe that was out of service. An analysis found fecal coliform bacteria at elevated levels as far as 5 miles downstream. Also found were about 30 dead fish.

The spill caused the closure of shellfish harvesting in Drayton Harbor for a week.

The dairy has 30 days to appeal.

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