HARRISBURG — Three operators of a Fulton County dairy farm responsible for a November 2009 fish kill in Big Cove Creek, Fulton County, have paid $12,920 and will cease agricultural operations, according to officials with the Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Under a consent order and agreement with the state agencies, Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Hege and Mr. Glen Hege will vacate their leased farm near McConnellsburg by May 1. The Heges failed to manage the farm’s manure and manure lagoon adequately.
The lagoon discharges into Big Cove Creek, which is a tributary of Licking Creek in the Potomac River basin.
“Given an option, the Heges chose to cease farming operations and vacate the McConnellsburg site rather than perform major upgrades needed to bring the facility into compliance,” said DEP South-central Regional Director Rachel Diamond. “As part of the agreement, the Heges developed and must now implement an interim manure management plan for this farm, as well as develop and implement comprehensive nutrient management and agricultural erosion control plans for a farm they lease in southern Huntington County.”
Farms in Pennsylvania that conduct plowing or tilling activities are required to have written erosion and sedimentation plans. Those that generate, store and/or apply manure are required to have written manure management plans.
Under terms of the agreement, the Heges paid a $10,000 penalty to the Clean Water Fund and a $2,920 penalty to the Fish and Boat Commission.
The Fulton County Conservation District assisted in this case and will continue to provide technical review and further assistance along with the Huntingdon County Conservation District.