An article in last week’s Observer addressed the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s concerns about Vreba-Hoff Dairy transporting 687,000 gallons of liquid manure from the two Michigan farms to the Chesterfield Dairy east of Morenci.
A response to some questions addressed to the ODA arrived after the paper went to press.
A letter from the ODA to Vreba-Hoff dated Aug. 31 faulted the manure transport because the treatment system at Chesterfield was not operational, not “pre-charged” before use and not yet approved by the ODA, as required by a transport agreement written in April.
Bill Schwaderer, public information officer for the ODA’s livestock environmental permitting program, responded by saying, “Chesterfield had sufficient storage to accept the manure and the separation and treatment system is functional.”
No explanation was given about why the ODA decided to approve the transport after the Aug. 31 letter, even though it violated the transport agreement.
Schwaderer stated that the ground water pumping test conducted by Dragun Corporation was completed before the Oct. 1 deadline and data is being reviewed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The test was ordered due to concerns about a sufficient supply of water from the aquifer tapped for farm use and also used by some residents in the area.
Schwaderer also confirmed that the Chesterfield Dairy’s sand separation system and manure treatment system became operational last week.
Finally, Schwaderer said that contaminated storm water impounded in a woods at the Chesterfield Dairy was removed and placed into the treatment system.