Local Health Officer Training
Section 6: You Make the Call
Case Study 2 - Improper Manure Handling
You receive a complaint about a manure pile. How do you plan to approach the problem? Do you have enough information about the complaint? Here is an opportunity to review and follow the steps in the Standard LHO Complaint Flow Chart again and read the appropriate statutes that address this issue.
This complaint is no different from other complaints. A plan:
- Log or record the complainant's name, telephone number, location of the nuisance.
- Your information reveals that it is a new manure pile in a barnyard close to the complainant property line.
- The complainant's well is 50 feet away from the pile.
- The owner of the manure pile is unwilling to work with the neighbor to remedy the situation.
You look through the statute and determine the law addresses manure as well as general nuisance - Title 17, §2701-B "Action against Improper Manure Handling, provides relief through court action, and, with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, a fine can be levied against the offending landowner up to $1,000 and a $250/day assessment. Court actions should be your last recourse in resolving complaints. Court actions are an expense the town may not want to accrue. http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/17/title17sec2701-B.html
You decide to work with the landowner (farmer) to amicably resolve the matter. Schedule a visit with the owner, log the meeting/discussion; schedule a follow-up; after the follow-up, prepare a summary letter of your discussions and any promises made by the owner.