Opponents of chicken farm challenge permit
Despite being one mile away from a state park, a large-scale poultry operation that has been awarded a construction permit. Opponents, however, are now challenging the authorisation.
The Ozbun Farms confined-animal feeding operation (CAFO) is situated close to the Roaring River State Park in Missouri State. The facility could eventually house up to 65,600 pullets, or laying hens, for George’s Processing Plant.
Opponents filed a motion seeking a stay of the operating permit, and previously filed an appeal of the construction permit, which will be heard in early January.
The state’s Administrative Hearing Commission plans to hear arguments on the operating permit, said Ranada Vinyard, an attorney for the commission.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued an operating permit to the poultry farm on Aug. 22, and a week later an area property owner challenged the permit. The appeal of the construction permit and the appeal of the operating permit are being dealt with separately, Vinyard said.
Mark Stephenson, a Joplin resident who has a family farm near Ozbun Farms, said opposition to the proposed CAFO is growing, adding that opponents will try to show that DNR mishandled permits for the CAFO. Local residents and environmental and parks organizations in Missouri have criticized the DNR for allowing the project to be constructed near a state park.
DNR said when it approved the operating permit that it complied with state law and met all requirements needed to protect state waters.