State clears Outlook dairy of wrongdoing in February incident

Agency: Severe weather caused berm breach

— A local dairy did not violate state policy when a berm on its property failed in February and flooded much of the community.

The state Department of Agriculture yesterday completed its investigation into DeRuyter Brothers Dairy, determining the berm breach resulting in the release of a large amount of water was an “agricultural stormwater event,” spokesman Hector Castro said. “WSDA found no violations of the state’s dairy nutrient management act and the dairy involved was in compliance with its Confined Animal Feeding Operation permit. WSDA will not be taking any enforcement action against DeRuyter Brothers Dairy.”

The agency determined the breach was due to severe weather conditions, Castro said.

“DeRuyter Brothers Dairy immediately repaired the berm once the break was discovered and continued to monitor it in the following days to prevent any further discharge,” Castro said.

Dairy co-owner Genny DeRuyter has claimed from the beginning that her farm did nothing wrong, and that the water did not contain manure.

The DeRuyters recently sold their farm to an out-of-state buyer for an undisclosed buyer.

Castro said his agency is continuing its investigation of Snipes Dairy. Water from the breach inundated manure-fertilized fields owned by the dairy.


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