It’s all about the money.
A company is in the process of creating an “up to” 6,999 beef cattle confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) on 400 acres on U.S. 50 in western Johnson County, just west of Powell Gardens. The Missouri Department of Natural Resource held a permit hearing in Warrensburg on Tuesday evening.
Aimee Davenport of Stinson, Leonard, Street spoke on behalf of Powell Gardens:
Good evening. I’m Aimee Davenport with the law firm of Stinson, Leonard, Street on behalf of Powell Gardens. [spelling] Thank you very much for this opportunity to comment. Uh, part of my, uh, career in clean water work involves reviewing permits, uh, for compliance, reviewing regulations, statutes, and writing permit terms, um, as necessary. Both on the, on the private side as well as, uh, previously in the public sector.
And never before have I seen a situation that warrants a permit denial more than this one. [applause] Valley Oak Steak Company is applying for a general permit that is meant and its purpose is to govern standard, a category of standard operations, a category of very similar operations. And it contains very standard environmental protection provisions. This is not a standard operation. Missouri’s own regulations only require a general permit, uh, to be issued for categories of operations that are substantially similar in nature, have substantially similar effluent discharges and that can substantially conditioned in the same manner to protect waters of the state. This permit doesn’t do that.
One of the ways, uh, to begin with, one of the ways this is such a different situation is, is the population density that we’re dealing with here. Within a few mile radius we have six thou, over six thousand people. Within a two mile radius we still over a thousand families. And of course, as you’re hearing from me and my, my colleagues at Powell Gardens you have a priceless community treasure within three miles that is, will be devastated with the issuance of this permit.
So this is not a standard situation. It needs to be viewed as that. It needs to be evaluated in environmental standpoint, um, as a very special situation due to the nature of the population density and the exotic community gardens that is within three miles of that facility.
Secondly, the combined nature of what they’re doing and the slaughterhouse Valley Oaks [inaudible] the existing slaughterhouse and the addition of almost 7,000 cattle, uh, the combined environmental impacts of those things need to be viewed together not separately. Which is what, uh, Valley Oaks, uh, is attempting to do with its separate permit process, processes. And that is not, um, that’s not consistent with the departments view on watershed planning and viewing environmental im, impacts in a totality of circum, circumstances. And we’re asking you to, to do that with Valley Oaks’ proposal.
Lastly, the permit application as submitted is, is severely deficient in many ways as my colleague after me will, will speak to in later detail.
For these reasons we ask you to please deny the general permit requested by Valley Oaks. Thank you. [applause]
Now that’s a CAFO (March 18, 2018)