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County commissioners want Amish to dispose waste "properly" - KOAM TV 7

County commissioners want Amish to dispose waste "properly"

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Being Amish includes a lifestyle separate from the rest of society.  But a group of men in Bourbon County, Kansas say things are too separate for the Amish right now.  

An old question once again centers around an old lifestyle.

"We've let this slide for years and years and years," says Tom McNeil, a Bourbon County resident.

Residents like McNeil were part of an effort in 2012 to enforce on the Amish what's enforced on everyone else.  

But...

"We don't want to create a hardship," says Bourbon County Commissioner Harold Coleman.

County commissioners say it can be a hot topic.

"We're not picking on the Amish because they're Amish.  I gotta pay my taxes, you gotta pay your taxes.  We can't say you don't have to.  Everybody has to comply with the same rules," says McNeil.

McNeil believes local and federal rules should cover how the Amish dispose of human waste, too.

"Everybody has to follow the rules," says McNeil.

The Amish in Bourbon County themselves dispose of both human and animal waste on their farm lands for fertilizer.  But "English" government rules say human waste should either be put in a sewer or septic tank.

"Even if they don't, it still has to be treated," says Coleman.  "It's supposed to be monitored."

One Amish man we talked to says he just doesn't get why this issue is an issue.  County commissioners say there's a precedent at stake.

"We have people that are erecting new houses or whatever, that are asking why they have to put in a septic system, take care of their sewage," says Coleman.

Amish within Bourbon County could end up being fined for what county commissioners are already calling "violations."

County commissioners have tabled this discussion until two weeks from now.


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