Neighbors sue dairy farm over health concerns

C&R Vanderham Dairy received the necessary county permitsto construct a large facility for 1,456 milk cows and 1,408 “supportstock” on its 60-acre farm.

However, neighbors objected, arguing the facility wouldprove an objectionable aroma in the vicinity, and disposal of manure couldbecome a problem.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

They formed the Association of Irritated Residents (AIR), anunincorporated association, to bring this lawsuit to have the facility closed.They alleged the dairy would violate the federal Clean Air Act as well as statelaws.

The dairy owners, in response, said they had complied withall applicable laws and obtained the necessary permits or exemptions beforestarting construction. Vanderham argued the neighbors failed to first exhaustadministrative remedies before bringing this lawsuit to close or restrict thedairy farm.

In addition, Vanderham noted it obtained exemption lettersfrom the appropriate regulators, and AIR was attacking the wrong party becauseit was the county officials who determined the dairy needed no additionalpermits.

If you were the judge would you allow the neighbors toproceed with their lawsuit against the dairy?

The judge said no!

The evidence shows the dairy complied with applicable stateand federal statutes, the judge began. If the neighbors have complaints, theyshould first exhaust their legal administrative remedies against the regulatoryagencies before bringing a lawsuit, he continued.

Therefore, the neighbors must first use administrativeprocedures to contest issuance of the permits before a lawsuit can be brought,the judge ruled.

Based on the U.S. District Court decision in Associationof Irritated Residents (AIR) v. C&R Vanderham Dairy, 435 Fed.Supp.2d1078.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

Copyright 2006 Inman News

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