Franklin County farmers fined for manure runoff

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Two farmers in northwestern Vermont have been fined $2,000 for allowing manure spread on a farm field in the spring to run off into Lake Champlain.

The Agency of Natural Resources announced Monday that David Montagne and Eugene Branon also will spend $8,500 to install drainage in the field to determine if that will prevent polluted runoff.

Manure contains phosphorus, which causes algae blooms to grow in the lake.

The state has beefed up efforts to reduce the amount of phosphorus flowing into the rivers and streams that lead into the lake.

In this case, the manure runoff was photographed by neighbors and the photographs were published in the St. Albans Messenger.

As part of the settlement, the farmers also have agreed to create a buffer strip around the field in Swanton and St. Albans and to train employees to prevent future runoff.

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