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DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION SOUTHEAST DISTRICT

3301 Gunn Club Road, MSC 7210-1, West Palm Beach, Florida 33406

Complaint Investigation Report Form

I. Initial Contact
Complaint Received by: Greg Kennedy Date: 11/2/2017 Time: 3:30 PM
County: Okeechobee Program: Industrial Wastewater (CAFO)
Complainant Name: Richard Couto, President of Animal Recovery Mission
Address: P.O. Box 403344 Miami Beach, FL 33140
Phone: (305)494-2225 E-Mail: kudo@arminvestigations.org Recontact? Yes, 11/6/2017

Location and Nature of Complaint:


The location of the complaint is Burnham Dairy, Inc., 5431 NE 304th Street, Okeechobee, FL 34972,
also identified as Okeechobee County Parcel # 1-8-34-36-0A00-00002-0000. This is a DEP permitted
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), Permit Number FLA447871.

The nature of the complaint is:


Deceased cows left decomposing in standing water among living cows
Deceased cows left decomposing on property near moving water
Deceased cows out in open being eaten by predators (both flight and land animals)
Ground water to public possibly affected by feces and decomposing bodies

Date of Referral to Complaint Coordinator: 11/2/2017


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II. Complaint Referral
Coordinator: Greg Kennedy Date Received: 11/2/2017
Recommended Priority: Emergency Response ____ Priority _____ Routine _X____
Referred To: __DERM __BCDNRP __PBCERM ___PBCPHU ___MCPHU __SLCPHU
__OCPHU ____Other __________________________________________
DEP Compliance Section Industrial Wastewater (CAFO)
Date of Referral: 11/2/2017
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III. Investigation
Investigated by: Greg Kennedy and Daryl Sibble Date: 11/13/2017

Description of Resolution:

On November 2, 2017, the complaint was received in a hard copy at the Departments Southeast District
office in West Palm Beach. On this day, I telephoned the facility owners, Randy Burnham and Doug
Burnham to inform them of the complaint received. Randy Burnham acknowledged that they have been
struggling with mortality disposal at their facility due to complications related to Hurricane Irma and
their contract rendering facilitys inability to pick up the bovine carcasses. The complaint was scanned
and an electronic version was e-mailed to Randy Burnham this same day.
Burnham Farms, Inc.
Permit Number; FLA447871 (CAFO)
Complaint Investigation Report 11/13/2017

Randy Burnham stated, that cleanup activities will begin immediately. I informed Mr. Burnham that a
Complaint Investigation Inspection will be conducted soon. Mr. Burnham called me on November 3,
2017 to provide an update on the cleanup of the bovine carcasses shown in the photographs provided by
the complainant.

An onsite Complaint Investigation Inspection was conducted on November 13, 2017. During this
inspection, Department staff, Greg Kennedy and Daryl Sibble inspected the 500-acre facility, including
wastewater treatment and disposal system, free stall barns, groundwater monitoring wells, surface water
discharge site and the mortality disposal area (Burial Site), which was shown in the photographs
provided by the complainant to have uncovered carcasses in various states of decomposition. No bovine
carcasses were observed on any portion of the facility during the complaint investigation. It was
determined that Burnham Farms, Inc. properly disposed of all bovine carcasses at the facility, after being
informed of the complaint. The facility is considering alternative methods for mortality disposal, such as
landfilling the carcasses at Okeechobee Landfill. No direct surface water connection from the
production area or mortality disposal area were found during the inspection. The following photographs
were taken by Daryl Sibble on November 13, 2017 at the facilitys mortality disposal area:

Burnham Farms, Inc. mortality disposal (burial) site.


Photo by Daryl Sibble on 11/13/2017, facing North

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Burnham Farms, Inc.
Permit Number; FLA447871 (CAFO)
Complaint Investigation Report 11/13/2017

Burnham Farms, Inc. mortality disposal (burial) site.


Photo by Daryl Sibble on 11/13/2017, facing West

Date Coordinator Recontacted ___________ ______Mailed ______Phoned


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IV. Final Disposition by Coordinator
Complainant Recontacted (if requested) Yes
__X__Matter Closed
_____Local Program to Handle
_____DEP Enforcement Action Required
_____Further Investigation __________________________________________
_____ Other ______________________________________________________

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