Oakshade Dairy seeks renewal of permit to operate 03.23.2011

Written by David Green.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is accepting comments on a draft Permit to Operate (PTO) for Oakshade Dairy, LLC, located in Chesterfield Township, at 15710 County Road 14 west of Lyons.

The farm is the former Chesterfield Dairy that closed in a bankruptcy proceeding and was purchased last August by Chris Weaver of Bridgewater Dairy in Williams County and Tim den Dulk of Coopersville, Mich.

Written comments or a request for a public hearing will be received until April 15. Bill Schwaderer of the ODA’s Livestock Environmental Permitting Program said that at least 20 requests for a hearing from the public or one request from a public official are needed before a hearing would be scheduled.

Comments must be submitted to the ODA’s LEEP office at 8995 East Main St., Reynoldsburg, OH 43068.

Copies of the Oakshade Dairy draft Permit to Operate can be reviewed at the Fulton Soil and Water Conversation District, Suite B, in Wauseon. Call 419/337-9217 to make an appointment.

This draft Permit to Operate (PTO) is a renewal application for the expiring PTO that was issued by the Ohio Department of Agriculture on July 8, 2005, and was valid for five years. The PTO would also be valid for a five-year period, at which time the owner would be required to apply for a renewal permit.

Schwaderer said the facility previously faced two notices of deficiency for freeboard clearance (too much manure in a storage basin), but both problems were cleared during followup visits by ODA staff.

A notice of adjudication was issued May 15, 2009, for a manure violation, but the farm went into bankruptcy, Schwaderer said.

Faulty irrigation equipment was blamed for a manure spill in 2009 that fouled a portion of Little Bear Creek, a tributary of the River Raisin.

Schwaderer said his agency reviews the record of the new owners and he’s confident they will operate the farm safely.

“The Weavers have an excellent reputation in Ohio at Bridgewater,” he said.

The existing facility has a design capacity of 1,750 mature dairy cows, which will remain the same under the new permit. The current operation has several manure storage structures. One concrete basin has a storage capacity of 572,175 gallons of manure. Three manure storage ponds are available to store a combined 26.2 million gallons of liquid manure. One solid stacking pad can store approximately 3,700 cubic yards of separated solids for bedding. Approximately 561 days of liquid manure storage and 1,319 days of solid’s storage are provided.

A complete Manure Management Plan is provided in the draft PTO that demonstrates the use of the nutrients contained in the manure. The dairy produces approximately 17.6 million gallons of liquid manure and 412 tons of solid manure annually.

An Emergency Response Plan is also contained in the draft PTO.

Finally, an Operating Record is included in the draft Permit to Operate that includes all forms and information that must be maintained by the facility to show compliance with ODA’s rules and the permit. These records include inspection of the manure storage structures, groundwater sampling, manure characterization, land application, insect and rodent control, distribution and utilization of manure, and mortality management. These records are inspected by the department a minimum of twice annually.

  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016