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Messy situation: Waste pipes pit neighbors against large farms

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Kathy Tyler drove past a section of Grant County farmland she owns in the fall of 2016 and noticed that a metal culvert had been installed under a small driveway on her land.

No one had asked permission to be on her property and no one seemed to listen to her objections when the culvert later was used to house a 6-inch diameter vinyl hose that carried thousands of gallons of liquified hog waste from a nearby corporate farm under her driveway and over her land.

Tyler said she eventually learned that Grant County officials had given permission to representatives from the privately-owned Teton LLC hog farm to lay the manure pipes in the ditches along several area roads. There was no application process, public hearing or public notice of the county’s decision. Tyler, and her husband, Timothy, filed a lawsuit against the county, alleging their property rights had been violated. The lawsuit is pending.

Manure piping and its potential infringement on individual property rights is becoming the latest battleground between large concentrated farming operations and their rural neighbors and other opponents. South Dakota has embraced the livestock operations, permitting more than 430 since the late 1990s. Environmentalists and others have continued to push for tougher zoning regulations and limitations on traffic, odor and water pollution potential from the farms. Read more and find additional stories at