IDEM Inspectors Investigate Manure Odor Permeating Knox

Inspectors from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management made their way to the hog farm owned by Lee Nagai at 1755 E. 400 N. in Knox on Friday to investigate complaints of a potent manure smell emitting from the farm. Barry Sneed from IDEM said they received four complaints Friday. He explains why the odor from the farm was so strong and was experienced for miles away.

“Obviously, the manure has an odor to it to begin with and there are certain times of year that the farmers will apply the manure to the field and usually it’s when there’s no crops in the field,” said Sneed. “They have to keep their manure lagoons down to a certain level and so as a result, they’ll have to apply that to the field.”

For regulated farms, like this one, data is supplied on core samples that farmers have taken from the fields where the manure will be applied. Other statistics have to be maintained, like agronomic rates, when the substance is applied.

IDEM can give farmers some tips on how to lower odors, but Sneed says IDEM does not regulate air quality

“IDEM does not regulate odors, per se, we regulate the quantity to make sure that agronomic rate has been met. Many times you just have to endure the odor for a while and I know it’s not pleasant, but typically it doesn’t last for very long as far several days or anything like that,” Sneed said.

A similar complaint was received in 2008 and no violations were found.

Strict guidelines have to be followed regarding manure applications and the inspectors were on site to make sure everything at the hog farm is in compliance. If there are any suggestions that can be made, Sneed said those will be given on-site.

“If there are any suggestions that we can make while we’re on-site we will but we don’t have any rules that we can implement regarding odors,” said Sneed.