(7-9-21) NEWS RELEASE -On July 7, Ohio EPA staff responded to an incident in the Spencerville area of Van Wert County.

The Pine Valley Ranch reported an overnight release of egg wash liquid (not manure) to field tiles that discharged to an unnamed stream (tributary of the St. Mary’s River). Upon discovery of the malfunction, the company followed their emergency operating procedure by immediately turning off their pump system and placing a stop on their impacted field tile. The company hired an environmental contractor to contain the discharge with earthen dams and remove the contaminants from the stream with vacuum trucks.

Field testing showed that the earthen dams were effective in preventing the discharge from impacting the St. Mary’s River.

Background on Pine Valley Farm, the Ohio Department of Agriculture signed the final permits in August of 2016 for an egg-laying facility that includes over 2.2 million chickens.

The (Permit to Install) to construct was for six new layer barns, each capable of housing 370,000 layers, for a total design capacity of 2,220,000 layers. The Permit to Operate details different plans and science-based guidelines the facility must follow, including regarding manure management, insect and rodent control, mortality management and emergency response.

Pine Valley Ranch principal owners Jim and Josh Fleck, of New Bremen, and Ralph, Randy and Chris Rindler, of St. Henry,