Dump of spoiled milk leads to fish kill in Iowa

ANKENY, Iowa — Environmental officials in Iowa are investigating a fish kill in a central Iowa creek they say was caused when a grocery store dumped 800 gallons of spoiled milk.

The incident happened Wednesday morning when officials discovered a stretch of Fourmile Creek fouled by rancid milk and traced the source to a Hy-Vee store in Ankeny, the Iowa DNR said in a news release. Officials said a store employee instructed workers to dump the milk following a power outage caused by a rare high wind storm on Monday.

Hy-Vee released a statement saying the store employee made an uninformed decision in instructing workers how to dump the spoiled milk, Des Moines television station KCCI reported.

“The moment this was brought to our attention, we immediately began working with the city of Ankeny, DNR and a third-party environmental cleanup company to address any potential issues,” the company said in the statement. “We are covering all costs related to the cleanup.”

A firm hired by Hy-Vee used small dams Wednesday night to help stop the spread and remove the contaminated water.

Minnows and small game fish have been found dead in half-mile span in the creek, officials said.

The DNR said it’s considering enforcement action, including restitution for the fish killed.


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