STAFF BLOG CAPITOL CHATTER Board backs commissioner dairy decision
A Thief River Falls-area dairy failed to convince the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Citizens' Board Tuesday that it was wrongfully denied the right to operate.
The MPCA board voted 8-0 to uphol... Posted on 4/27/10 at 10:47 PM
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizens Advisory Board has unanimously denied an appeal of its earlier decision not to reissue a permit to the rural Thief River Falls dairy, which was declared a public health hazard in 2008.
In the midst of what have been good years in agriculture generally this decade, the dairy business in North Dakota has nearly nose-dived. The number of dairy cows in the state is down 60 percent in the past 10 years alone, going from about 50,000 in 2000 to only 21,000 milking cows this month, falling 4,000 in just the past year, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report Friday.
Residents from near Excel Dairy drove to St. Paul on Thursday to tell their plight. And senators were shocked to hear that unhealthy levels of manure fumes have surrounded their homes hundreds of times since the spring of 2007 despite two state agencies’ attempts to correct the situation.
It’ll be another month, at least, before the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens Advisory Board meets to review the clean-up progress made by Excel Dairy, the rural Thief River Falls facility that has been closed since February because of health regulation violations.
Excel Dairy, the rural Thief River Falls mega-dairy that closed in January after being cited as a public health hazard by the Minnesota Department of Health, continues to violate Minnesota air quality standards.
Excel Dairy, which opened in 2007, has been shut down since January, after Minnesota Health Department air quality tests showed average hydrogen sulfide levels in the surrounding air exceeded state and federal standards throughout much of 2008.
A rural Thief River Falls dairy farm that has been declared a public health hazard will have 30 days after spring road restrictions are lifted to remove manure from three basins. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens Board approved an amended staff recommendation Tuesday to revoke its present operating permit and to issue a new, more restrictive, permit.
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