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.
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.
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.