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Tuscola County’s Zimba Dairy, Inc. Ordered to Halt Discharging Waste in State Waters

LANSING – The 54th Circuit Court in Tuscola County recently granted a preliminary injunction against Zimba Dairy, Inc. (Zimba) of Tuscola County, ordering the concentrated animal feeding operation to immediately halt discharging wastewater from its three locations to state waters, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The Attorney General filed an amended complaint against Zimba (PDF) in April following an initial complaint filed in June 2023. The Department alleges the operation failed to obtain a mandated wastewater permit, unlawfully discharged wastewater to surface water and groundwater, killed thousands of fish in the North Branch White Creek in 2021, and unlawfully impacted wetlands and inland streams with significant damaging effects.

“This ruling marks a pivotal step in holding Zimba Dairy, Inc. accountable for its environmental impact and threats to public health,” Nessel said. “My department remains committed to protecting Michigan’s water and natural resources.”

Zimba is a concentrated animal feeding operation with three locations and over 3,500 head of cattle, including more than 1,600 dairy cows. Zimba confines well over the regulatory threshold of 700 cows for a portion of the day every day and feeds their cows silage in addition to some pasture grass. By law, Zimba must properly manage the waste it produces by confining so many animals in a small space; instead, the Department alleges it has flaunted wastewater permitting rules and continued to pollute Michigan’s water resources.

The 54th Circuit Court in Tuscola County will next hear motions for partial summary disposition filed by both Plaintiffs and Zimba on May 29th.


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