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CAFO land disturbance permit issue corrected

CAFO land disturbance permit issue corrected

August 2nd, 2018 by Helen Wilbers in Local News

KINGDOM CITY — The Department of Natural Resources investigated Callaway Farrowing for lacking a land disturbance permit when construction started, but the issue has since been corrected, the DNR confirmed.

DNR Environmental Supervisor Jamie Shinn confirmed Tuesday the department had investigated the confined animal feeding operation construction after receiving a citizen report of a potential violation. Jeff Jones, a farmer who lives near the construction site and has led opposition to the CAFO, made the report.

"The only violation determined was the entity did not have a land disturbance permit prior to any land disturbance being conducted," Shinn said. "The investigator did not observe any sediment leaving the site during his investigation."

Callaway Farrowing electronically applied for and received a land disturbance permit during the investigation, he added.

"The investigation report cited an unsatisfactory finding for the violation and noted it was corrected during the investigation," he said. "It was not a minor violation, but the entity immediately addressed it while the investigator was on site."

The future Callaway Farrowing facility lies on County Road 227 just south of Interstate 70. Land disturbances on an area 1 acre or greater require a permit, according to the DNR.

Don Lehenbauer, a friend of the Eichelberger family (which owns Callaway Farrowing) who said he's acting as the "dirt contractor" on the construction project, said the lack of a permit was an oversight.

"Every job has one," he said. "This time, it was overlooked. It was no big deal, and there were no fines involved."

The Callaway Farrowing project includes 19 acres and will consist of three buildings, Lehenbauer said. While the DNR Clean Water Commission's General Operating Permit states Callaway Farrowing is permitted for up to 9,520 swine of more than 55 pounds and 800 smaller swine, Lehenbauer said the actual numbers are lower.

"This project is not remotely large enough to handle that many animals," he said.

There will be 7,130 farrowing sows at the facility, he said, plus a fluctuating number of their young, which will leave the facility upon reaching 16 pounds.