ODA concedes in fight with egg farm

SALEM, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Agriculture has ended its two-year fight with Ohio Fresh Eggs and says it will not appeal a court ruling that keeps the central Ohio egg farm in business.

Pingpong

In late May, the 10th District Court of Appeals in Franklin County sided with the egg farm to end the back-and-forth battle between the agriculture department and farm.

The fight over operations began in November 2006, when the agriculture department revoked all the farm’s permits, saying operators should have divulged the name of an anonymous investor in the company.

The anonymous investor turned out to be a farm operator labeled a “habitual” and “chronic” violator of Iowa’s environmental laws.

Farm and Dairy reported earlier that state Livestock Environmental Permitting Program officials typically run background checks on individuals whose names are listed on permit applications, and that it was assumed inclusion of the investor’s name would have raised red flags and caused the state to delay or deny those permits.

The egg farm appealed the ODA decision to the Environmental Review Appeals Commission, which voted to return the farm’s permits.

The agriculture department then asked the appeals court to review the case, contending the farm’s permits were incomplete and contained falsified information.

The next step would have been to take the case to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Change

Despite the state’s failed efforts to shut the operation down, the fight has sparked change.

Agriculture Director Robert Boggs has said the agriculture department has plans to create new legislation “designed to ensure that persons in control, or that seek to control, a concentrated animal feeding facility are clearly identified in the permit application and are subject to a background check.”

Spokesman Bill Schwaderer said the agriculture department has not yet begun drafting the new legislation.

Related coverage:

ODA files appeal to stop Ohio Fresh Eggs from getting permits back (9/27/2007)

ODA decision reversed: Ohio Fresh Eggs gets permits back (8-30-2007)

EPA slaps Ohio Fresh Eggs with fines (2-22-2007)

State revokes egg farm permits (12-7-2006)

Egg farm may have permits yanked (11/30/2006)

Ohio Fresh Eggs ordered to destroy 4.3 million eggs at Croton facility (3/9/2006)

State threatens to yank permits from Ohio Fresh egg farm (10/6/2005)

Croton, Ohio, farm: Ohio Fresh Eggs ordered to clean up, pleases inspector within 24 hours (8/18/2005)

Ohio Department of Agriculture proposes fines for Ohio Fresh Eggs (6/23/2005)

Group wants moratorium on CAFOs in Ohio (12/9/2004)

Buckeye Egg settles with EPA (3/4/2004)

Ohio Fresh Eggs marks new beginning at Buckeye Egg (2/12/2004)

ODA issues final permits to Ohio Fresh Eggs for Croton Egg Farm (12/31/2003)

Buckeye Egg Farm’s sale of northern barns gets preliminary OK (12/11/2003)

About the Author

Former staff reporter Andrea Zippay wrote for Farm and Dairy from 2001 to 2009. More Stories by Andrea Zippay

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