CAFO opponents appeal Ozbun operating permit

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

An appeal challenging the operating permit for the Ozbun confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Eagle Rock has been filed with Missouri's Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC).

This latest appeal is asking the Commission to stay an operating permit that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources issued on Aug. 22.

Opponents also filed an appeal of the initial construction permit granted to the Ozbuns by DNR in March. This appeal resulted in a stay being issued on construction at the site by AHC. A month after the stay was issued, DNR approved an operating permit for the project.

Under the specifications listed in the permit application, Michele and Rodney Ozbun are building four poultry houses, which will hold up to 65,600 pullets at one time. The houses are being built on property the Ozbuns own on Highway F east of Roaring River State Park.

The Commission will now be considering two appeals, one on the construction permit and the second on the operating permit. A hearing on the operating permit appeal is being held today (Wednesday) in Jefferson City.

Opponents of the CAFO claim DNR did not follow all the requirements of the permit-approval process before issuing the initial construction permit and that conditions of the construction stay were violated.

Friends of Roaring River was organized in opposition to the Ozbun CAFO and its members have been meeting regularly since last February. This group opposes the CAFO because of its proximity to a state park and the possible effect wastewater run-off from the site could have on nearby Roaring River and Table Rock Lake.

DNR officials said both the construction and operating permits comply with Missouri law governing CAFOs and meet all legal and regulatory requirements.

The Ozbun CAFO is designed as a no-discharge facility, which means waste from the operation will be contained and stored until it can be land applied. The Ozbuns have publically stated their intention to have the waste hauled off site and land applied in another area.

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