Friday, May 04, 2007

Dairy IDEM Approvals Revoked

The Fort Wayne JournalGazette carries the story today regarding the DeGroot Dairy near Andrews (link):
In its letter mailed to DeGroot on Tuesday, IDEM outlines 13 permit violations by the dairy, dating to September 2005 and continuing until the April 11 spill, and IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly revoked the approvals for the confined feeding operation.

According to the article, DeGroot's attorney, Peter Racher said, "...there is still a question as to how the dairy could be decommissioned in a way that is not harmful to the animals or the environment."
And he said he needs to research whether any agency can allow a significant investment into a private business and then have that agency say it has rescinded the business' right to exist based on a permit violation.

Not to be picky or anything, but it's 13 violations ...not "a permit violation."

Still, DeGroot's attorney raises some interesting questions. This case is sure to test how much authority IDEM actually has to protect our environment ...and how far they are willing to go in order to do so.

It also raises another question in my mind. Does this mean "13" is the "magic number" that CAFOs in Indiana have to reach in violations before serious actions are taken?

I also find it interesting how now the CAFO appears to be stressing it is a business -- not a farm, not a farm business -- but a private business.

In a separate court case, the state is also seeking an injunction prohibiting the dairy owner, Johannes DeGroot, from spreading manure from the cows on nearby fields. This court case is still expected to proceed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny that the lawyer defending this dairy is the same one fighting Schuringa's Farm? A bit 2-faced isn't it?!