SALEM, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Agriculture continues its fight with Ohio Fresh Eggs, this time filing a court appeal to keep the farm from getting its permits back.
Agriculture Director Robert Boggs filed the appeal with the 10th District Court of Appeals in Franklin County Sept. 21.
Previously, on Aug. 23, the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission returned the farm’s permits to install and permits to operate after it determined the farm didn’t falsify information in the applications.
The department of agriculture had 30 days to appeal that decision.
Evaluate and uphold
“The Attorney General’s Office and our legal staff have carefully reviewed the findings of the commission, and decided to appeal,” Boggs said.
“We are hopeful that the appeals court will thoroughly evaluate the case and uphold our original decision to revoke the farm’s permits based on incomplete information on the original application.”
Back and forth
In November 2006, the agriculture department revoked all the farm’s permits, saying egg farm operators should have divulged the name of an anonymous investor in the company.
The anonymous investor turned out to be Austin “Jack” DeCoster, a farm operator labeled a “habitual” and “chronic” violator of Iowa’s environmental laws.
State Livestock Environmental Permitting Program officials typically run background checks on individuals whose names are listed on permit applications. It was assumed if DeCoster’s name appeared on permitting applications, the state would either delay or deny permits for the farm.
The egg farm appealed that ODA decision to the Environmental Review Appeals Commission, which voted to return the farm’s permits in late August.
The current request with the court in Franklin County seeks to enforce ODA’s decision to revoke all the farm’s permits for sites in Hardin, Wyandot and Licking counties.