Officials: Cause of Huron dam fish die-off unclear

BY: - January 24, 2023

A recently completed James River dam project was the site of a massive fish die-off in Huron last week, but state officials say the cause of the deaths is unclear. A state official says they are monitoring the situation on the ground and may restock the affected area of the river. The fish kill was […]

A farmer harvests corn near Slater, Iowa. on Oct. 17, 2020.

Bill to protect ag operations from nuisance lawsuits heads to the House

BY: - January 24, 2023

A bill to make it more difficult to sue agricultural operations earned the unanimous support of the state House Ag and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday.  Some opponents called the legislation a move to eliminate nuisance lawsuits all but entirely.  House Bill 1090, introduced by Rep. James Wangsness, R-Miller, restricts the right to file nuisance […]

Hunter Roberts, secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, briefs the House Ag and Natural Resources Committee on Jan. 19, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

State needs more incentives to keep ag waste out of water, regulator says

BY: - January 19, 2023

PIERRE — The lack of any sign-ups for a multimillion-dollar water quality program is evidence that agricultural operations need more incentives to keep waste out of waterways, according to the leader of the state’s environmental regulatory agency.  Hunter Roberts is the secretary of the state Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He briefed the House […]

Kids float down French Creek; a sign stands near the city of Custer's treated wastewater discharge point along Flynn Creek. (Courtesy photos)

Landowners feel sidelined as Custer plans wastewater discharge into French Creek

BY: - December 16, 2022

Critics of a city’s decision to release treated wastewater into a scenic and historic Black Hills creek say it could pollute the water and is being done without sufficient input from affected residents. The city of Custer is upgrading its wastewater treatment system because of projected population growth and maintenance problems with the current system. […]

Sioux Falls as seen from Falls Park, on the Big Sioux River. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

Drought causing more minerals to enter Sioux Falls drinking water source

BY: - December 4, 2022

A state water quality report says the part of the Big Sioux River that Sioux Falls uses for drinking water contains dissolved solids beyond the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. A city water official says the drought is causing the uptick in minerals, like salt. The state Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources […]

Wastewater treatment plant in Buena Vista, Georgia, on July 29, 2020.

Town of Hermosa fined for spraying too much wastewater over farm fields

BY: - November 17, 2022

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) has fined Hermosa $13,000 for Surface Water Discharge permit violations. The city of 373, located about 20 miles south of Rapid City, failed to submit documentation before spraying wastewater on agricultural land, the DANR said. It also failed to monitor that wastewater and went over […]