Sierra Club sues county supervisors over dairy expansion

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Last April, the Yolo County, Calif., Board of Supervisors gave Cache Creek Dairy the go-ahead to expand from 1,500 cows to 2,800 cows. And everyone moved on with their business.

But the matter is apparently far from over. In a lawsuit filed recently by the Sierra Club, opponents to the expansion say the supervisors violated their own rules because they did not require the dairy to conduct an environmental review before allowing the expansion to proceed. The lawsuit asks a judge to stop any construction at Cache Creek Dairy.

The dairy initially received the okay to expand in 1998, but did not do so at that time due to financial constraints. The rules that require all dairies to conduct and environmental review before opening or expanding went into effect after the dairy received approval to expand that year.

So when the dairy intended to go ahead with its plans now, owners Jack and Ellie Mae Kasbergen claimed, before the board, that they had grandfather rights to expand without the review, because the rule did not exist when the plans were first approved.

County supervisors agreed, despite initially rejecting the idea.

Area activists say dairy odors, flies and concerns about manure impact on surface and ground water are their reason for blocking the expansion. And they are now raising a stink in court.

Source: San Jose Mercury News. Sacramento Bee



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