When cousins George and James Borba first developed their plans for two, 14,000-cow dairies in 1998, they never envisioned it would take this long to win final approval. Earlier this week, California Judge Roger Randall approved the dairies latest environmental review which gives them a green light on the project.

The dairies ran into opposition when the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment filed suit to force an environmental review be conducted before construction could begin. Then after the environmental review was completed, the Center and the Sierra Club both filed suit saying the dairies were too large and would cause too much pollution. During the course of the lawsuit, Randall ordered additional environmental reviews to answer specific questions that were brought forward. Both environmental groups have 30 days to decide whether or not to appeal the court’s decision to allow the dairies to proceed.

Once built, the dairies will sit side by side in Kern County. When the Borbas first announced their plans a lot of confusion existed as people thought it was one giant dairy.

Even if the case is not appealed, Brent Newell, attorney with the Center says the battle was worth it as the Kern County supervisors have now passed a resolution that all new dairies must conduct an environmental review and public hearings. In the past, the county did make those demands of new dairies as long as they were far enough from urban areas.

The Bakersfield Californian