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Seventeen manure pits reportedly overflow at large feedlots in southern Minnesota

Heavy rain has spilled an unknown amount of livestock waste into the environment

Relentless rains this month have caused 17 manure pits at 15 large farms in southwestern Minnesota to overflow, releasing livestock waste into the environment.

The overflows, all at open pit lagoons, happened in Rock, Nobles and Jackson counties, said Andrea Cournoyer, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The agency is working to monitor and mitigate any potential damage from the spills, she said.

High concentrations of manure can be dangerous to human health and can cause fish kills and threaten water quality even after floodwaters recede. But the manure in the basins overflowing from the extreme rainfall is heavily diluted, said Randy Hukriede, feedlot program manger for the MPCA. None of the basins that overflowed contained pure manure.


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