Thursday, February 03, 2005

...And you think you have problems...

MILFORD, Neb. (AP) - Urban dwellers who enjoy dining on filet mignon at five-star restaurants would probably just as soon not know about David Dickinson's problem But Dickinson, who makes his living in the cattle business, has an environmental problem on his hands that is vexing state officials: a 2,000-ton pile of burning cow manure. Dickinson owns and manages Midwest Feeding Co., about 20 miles west of Lincoln. It takes in as many as 12,000 cows at a time from farmers and ranchers and fattens them for market. However, the bovine byproducts from the massive operation resulted in a dung pile 100 feet long, 30 feet high and 50 feet wide that spontaneously combusted about two months ago and continues to smolder, despite attempts to douse it. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has informed Dickinson that his smoldering pile violates clean-air laws and is working with him to find the best solution to extinguish it, said agency spokesman Rich Webster. Simply dumping water on the heap is not the answer. "There would be concerns about runoff to any nearby water source," Webster said. Dickinson first tried using heavy equipment to spread out the smoldering pile. "But the problem was, it started in another spot," he said. No one is sure how the fire started, but the culprit is probably heat from decomposing manure inside the pile. Wilma Roth, who manages a restaurant along Interstate 80 about a mile north of the feedlot, said her customers have complained about the smoke, which wafts for miles. "I'd just as soon forget about it," she said. Dickinson said the smoke is not particularly malodorous - although that comes from a man who works full time around manure. "I guess it's just all perspective," he said.

Comments on "...And you think you have problems..."

 

Blogger The Original LRU said ... (February 03, 2005 10:08 PM) : 

We're cookin' now!

 

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