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Archive for Friday, April 6, 2001

Dairy co-op to appeal

April 6, 2001

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— Backers of a proposed large-scale cooperative dairy plan to appeal the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's rejection of their application.

The agency said last month that the proposed dairy would be too close to neighboring homes. The rejected application was from members of 21st Century Cooperative, Tauy Creek Dairy, who want to build the facility on 107 acres of land 10 miles north of Ottawa.

The cooperative's chairman, John Coen, said the denial was not totally unexpected and that an attorney is already working on an appeal.

"We knew this was a process, not an event," he said.

The application was filed in January as an expansion to Coen's existing dairy operation, located about one-quarter of a mile from the proposed site.

But KDHE spokesman Mike Heideman said the application could not be viewed as an expansion of an existing dairy. He said that means the proposed dairy would have to have to meet stricter standards.

State law requires that facilities built after 1994 that have more than 1,999 animals must be at least 4,000 feet from the nearest home, or neighbors must sign a waiver. The Tauy Creek Dairy is only 1,000 feet from the nearest home, and the cooperative was unlikely to get permission for the shorter distance from neighbors.

In June, all neighbors within a mile of the proposed site signed a petition opposing the dairy's construction.

The neighbors say the dairy would damage the environment and create chaos in a quiet, rural setting.

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