Friday, July 24, 2009

Clean-up from fish kill costs thousands

News about cost of fish kill due to fertilizer run off.

Clean-up from fish kill costs thousands

COLUMBUS -- A fish kill caused by runoff of corn syrup and manure cost one Licking County farmer's insurance company more than $20,000 in restitution.

Ron Rodgers, a law-enforcement supervisor with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, said Larry Cooperrider applied a mixture of manure and about 530,000 gallons of corn-syrup material, a byproduct of ethanol production, to his field as fertilizer.

Before the mixture was incorporated into the soil, a large rainfall washed it into three nearby waterways: Otter Fork Creek, East Fork Rattlesnake Creek and the North Fork of the Licking River.

The runoff temporarily depleted oxygen levels in the water and killed about 49,000 aquatic inhabitants, including fish, in August 2008.

The farmer's insurance company agreed to pay $20,213.24 in restitution to the Division of Wildlife.

"These byproducts from ethanol production are a relatively recent product," Rodgers said. "I don't think he will do it again."

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