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Jo Daviess County Board Letter to DOA!


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Attached is the letter as sent to and received by Warren Goetsch.

 

February 19, 2008

Illinois Department of Agriculture

Mr. Warren Goetsch, P.E.

Bureau Chief, Environmental Programs

State Fairgrounds

P.O. Box 19281

Springfield, IL 62794-9281

RE: Jo Daviess County Board recommendation to the Illinois Dept of Agriculture regarding the

construction of two proposed livestock facilities, Tradition North and Tradition South.

Dear Mr. Goetsch,

This letter is to notify you and the Illinois Department of Agriculture that the Jo Daviess County Board met

on Monday, February 11, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. and pursuant to Section 12 of the Illinois Livestock

Management Facilities Act (510 ILCS 77), voted 11-5 not to recommend this facility (Tradition North and

Tradition South) as applied for. Also included in this letter, pursuant to Section 12(B) of the Act, is a

statement of whether the proposed facilities achieve or fail to achieve each of the eight (8) siting criteria as

outlined in subsection 12(d).

On November 19, 2007 the Jo Daviess County Board received from the Illinois Department of Agriculture,

Notice of Intent to Construct applications for two (2) proposed 6,850 animal unit capacity dairy facilities to

be called Tradition North and Tradition South submitted by owner AJ Bos, Bakersfield, California.

On December 18, 2007, the Jo Daviess County Board requested the Illinois Department of Agriculture to

hold a public informational meeting prior to its consideration of giving site approval to either of the

proposed dairy facilities, Tradition North or Tradition South, which are proposed to be located

approximately 0.9 miles northwest of Nora in Nora Township, Jo Daviess County, Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture did conduct a public informational meeting on January 10, 2008 at

the Warren High School in Warren Illinois, at which time and place testimony and exhibits were presented.

The Jo Daviess County Board did receive the record of said public meeting.

Pursuant to the Livestock Management Facilities Act the Jo Daviess County Board is required to present a

non-binding, advisory recommendation to the Illinois Department of Agriculture about the proposed

construction of the new facilities in accordance with the applicable requirements of the Act.

The Jo Daviess County Development & Planning Committee, the Committee responsible for making the

recommendation to the County Board, regarding the eight (8) siting criteria as set forth in the Act, held a

special committee meeting on January 31, 2008 to consider the evidence from said public informational

meeting and to discuss concerns and ask questions of invited guests. Agencies represented included the

Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Jo Daviess Soil & Water

Conservation District, Lyons Well Drilling, and the Engineer for the Owner and the Owner of the proposed

facilities.

On January 31, 2008 the Jo Daviess County Development & Planning Committee did make

recommendations with respect to each of the eight (8) criteria as set forth in the Act as well as an overall

recommendation with respect to the siting of the two proposed facilities, Tradition North and Tradition

South. The Development & Planning Committee held a second special meeting on February 11, 2008, prior

to the County Board meeting, to hear and discuss additional information regarding karst areas/maps in the

area of Tradition North and Tradition South.

The Jo Daviess County Board did receive the recommendations made on January 31, 2008 by the JDC

Development & Planning Committee with respect to each of the eight (8) siting criteria as set forth in the

Act, as well as an overall recommendation with respect to the siting of the two proposed facilities, Tradition

North and Tradition South. On February 11, 2008 the Jo Daviess County Board voted 12-4 not to go

through each of the eight (8) criteria and amend or delete comments, concerns or revise any of the eight (8)

criteria recommendations as made by the Development & Planning Committee, instead the eight (8) criteria

recommendations made by the Development & Planning Committee will be the recommendations made to

the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Pursuant to Section 12(B) of the Livestock Management Act (510 ILCS 77), the following comments,

concerns and findings where made on January 31, 2008 by the JDC Development & Planning Committee

and are also the recommendations of the Jo Daviess County Board regarding whether the proposed

facilities, Tradition North and Tradition South, achieve or fail to achieve each of the eight statutory siting

criteria.

1) Yes No X Criterion 1. Whether registration and livestock waste management plan

certification requirements, if required, are met by the notice of intent to construct.

Beth Baranski made a motion that criteria number one has not been met. Ron Smith seconded. The

motion passed, 5 yes, 2 no.

Committee concern – whether or not there is a business located within the set back requirements allowed

for a populated area (see attached letter from Attorney Fredrick Roth to Warren Goetsch).

2) Yes X No Criterion 2. Whether the design, location, or proposed operation will

protect the environment by being consistent with the Livestock Management Facilities Act 510 ILCS

77.

Beth Baranski made a motion that criteria number two has not been met. Ron Smith seconded. The

motion failed, 3 yes, 4 no.

 

Discussion/comments/concerns – Berlage stated that given the facts it will be consistent with the LMFA.

Baranski discussed the facility near Bloomington with good management, the sites are environmentally

different, the letter of the law may be met but questioned the spirit of the Act and questioned the design of

the facilities given where they are located and the technologies available. Smith said we are making

comments on two sites not just one and our determinations are for two sites so no the proposed locations

will not protect the environment. Berlage reread the question and reminded the Committee that it is not

what you think rather is it consistent with the Act. Smith stated that construction is still open-ended. Mapes

discussed interpretation of the question and that there are some environmental questions in the area. Berlage

stated that it meets the LMFA. The Committee discussed several environmental issues such as karst areas,

wetlands, tile drainage and design issues.

Merri Berlage made a motion to approve criteria number two that the design, location, or proposed

operation will protect the environment by being consistent with this Livestock Management Facilities

Act, with a recommendation that there are concerns with the environment. Motion seconded by Ron

Mapes. Merri Berlage amended the motion to add concerns regarding karst areas, wetlands,

geological maps, and tile drainage. Motion seconded by Ron Mapes. The amendment passed, 7 yes, 0

no. The motion passed, 7 yes, 0 no.

3) Yes X No Criterion 3. Whether the location of the facility minimizes any

incompatibility with the surrounding area’s character by being located in any area zoned for

agriculture where the county has zoning or where the county is not zoned, the setback requirements

established by this Livestock Management Facilities Act are complied with.

Marv Schultz made a motion that the location of the facility minimizes any incompatibility with the

surrounding area’s character by being located in any area zoned for agriculture where the county has

zoning or where the county is not zoned, the setback requirements established by this Livestock

Management Facilities Act are complied with. Merri Berlage seconded the motion. The motion

passed, 7 yes, 0 no.

4) Yes No X Criterion 4. Whether the facility is located within a 100-year floodplain

or an otherwise environmentally sensitive area (defined as an area of karst area or with aquifer

material within 5 feet of the bottom of the livestock waste handling facility) and whether construction

standards set forth in the notice of intent to construct are consistent with the goal of protecting the

safety of the area.

Discussion/comments/concerns - Sally Toepfer stated it was her understanding this site is not located within

the 100 year floodplain and that they are proposing to meet the building standards according to the karst

area definition so it meets the criteria. Discussion continued that this is not being built on a karst. Smith

stated that this is an environmentally sensitive area and karst has to be looked at as we are looking at two

facilities not just one and there are other environmentally sensitive areas like Apple River Canyon State

Park. Berlage read the definition of an environmentally sensitive area from criteria four and asked Smith to

add his environmentally sensitive areas to his motion.

Ron Smith made a motion that due to the fact that this is an environmentally sensitive area, the

criterion submitted has not been met. Dorte Breckenridge seconded the motion. Smith amended the

motion; due to the fact that this is an environmentally sensitive area further investigation is needed

on this being a karst area that could have impact on the Wolf Creek, the Apple River, and adjacent

property wells. Breckenridge seconded the motion. The amendment passed 6 yes, 1 no. The motion

passed, 7 yes, 0 no.

5) Yes X No Criterion 5. Whether the owner or operator has submitted plans for

operation that minimize the likelihood of any environmental damage to the surrounding area from

spills, runoff, and leaching.

Discussion/comments/concerns – Berlage stated the manure management plan presented in testimony at the

hearing in Warren had met the criteria. Baranski stated she felt that more things could be incorporated into

the plan like a methane digester that would minimize environmental damage and for that reason it does not

meet the criteria. Toepfer asked if plans call for one year of holding capacity and the requirement is 150

days and this is double the requirement. Answer given was yes.

Merri Berlage made a motion that criteria number five has been met. Ron Smith seconded the

motion. The motion passed, 4 yes, 3 no.

6) Yes No X Criterion 6. Whether odor control plans are reasonable and incorporate

reasonable or innovative odor reduction technologies given the current state of such technologies.

Discussion/comments/concerns – Baranski stated this is the place for methane digesters. She reported on

her research regarding the effectiveness of digesters and the technologies that are already out there and the

political climate supports. Due to the karst nature and sensitivity of the general area and given the current

state of technologies this is even more important that this is part of the plan of the facility and it is our

responsibility to make sure it is part of the plan.

Baranski made a motion that criteria number six has not been met. Dorte Breckenridge seconded the

motion. Marv Schultz amended the motion that the odor control plan has not been met because it

does not incorporate any new technologies such as methane digesters or burners and in keeping with

the comprehensive plan of encouraging growth to the communities we do not want to hurt the Village

of Nora. Baranski seconded the motion. The amendment passed 7 yes, 0 no. The motion passed 7 yes,

0 no.

 

7) Yes No X Criterion 7. Whether traffic patterns minimize the effect on existing

traffic flows.

Discussion/comments/concerns – Dorte Breckenridge asked for clarification on where traffic will be going

once it leaves the farm. The Committee looked at the map and the distance to Hwy. 78. Baranski discussed

how the McLean County dairy built and agreed to maintain an 80,000 lb. road. Schultz stated that this is a

difficult question to answer, we have not seen plans and how about the road to Nora. Terry Kurt stated that

from testimony at the public hearing he felt the traffic patterns meant the traffic coming in and out of the

facility and is that going to minimize the effect on existing traffic flows. Baranski stated that she felt that

because it was so close to Hwy 78 it would minimize the effect on existing traffic flows. Mapes stated that

he did not feel that the taxpayers of Nora Township should have a burden to maintain the road.

Baranski made a motion that criteria number seven has been met. Berlage seconded the motion.

Mapes made a motion to amend the motion that the owner is to enter into a contract with Nora

Township to upgrade E. Mahoney Road to an 80,000 lb. road. There was no second the motion died.

Schultz made a motion to amend the motion to ask the Dept of Agriculture to work with the applicant

and the governing bodies that are affected by the dairies’ operation to work together to make E.

Mahoney Road an 80,000 lb. road from Hwy 78 to Stage Coach Trail in Nora. The amendment

passed 4 yes, 3 no. The motion failed 3 yes, 4 no.

8) Yes No X Criterion 8. Whether construction or modification of a new facility is

consistent with existing community growth, tourism, recreation, or economic development or with

specific projects involving community growth, tourism, recreation, or economic development that

have been identified by government action for development or operation within one year through

compliance with applicable zoning and setback requirements for populated areas as established by

the Livestock Management Facilities Act 510 ILCS 77/12(d).

Discussion/comments/concerns - Baranski stated that to her not having the appropriate technology such as

a methane digester, a community nearby, and the importance of tourism in the County this criteria has not

been met. Smith added that there is a question on the setback requirement for a populated area which needs

to be answered.

Baranski made a motion that criteria number eight has not been met. Smith seconded the motion.

The motion passed 5 yes, 2 no.

Overall Development & Planning Committee recommendation with respect to the siting of the two

proposed facilities Tradition North and Tradition South.

Discussion/comments/concerns - Development & Planning Committee Chairman, Ron Mapes stated that

the eight criteria have been addressed and we are down to a board recommendation.

 

Baranski stated the reason for her motion is specific (see below), there are places where facilities like this fit

very naturally like the one we toured by Bloomington, based on what is below the ground and what is in

the area. In this one there is more complicated geology and we are close to population areas. There are

tested technologies available that will minimize the impact and because of the nature of our area with

tourism and communities close by it is very important that these technologies are incorporated into the

design. It has to be in the notice of intent and application otherwise there is nothing holding them to

anything. If we let it in we let it in at lower standards than are available and our area warrants a higher

standard.

Mapes reviewed the pros and cons of making a recommendation one way or another. Sally Toepfer asked if

the applicant can amend or revise the application. Mapes asked Warren Goetsch to expand on this. He

stated that there are provisions in the Act that do allow the applicant to make additions or corrections to the

application once the process is over. However there are limitations, if they make changes and exceed certain

levels that are spelled out in the Act like changes to volumetric storage facilities or increases to capacity of

the facility the Dept would re-notify the County Board and allow the County to go through the public

information process again.

Baranski made a motion that the County does not recommend this facility as has been applied for.

Ron Smith seconded the motion. The motion passed 4 yes, 3 no. Baranski, Smith, Breckenridge and

Toepfer voted yes. Berlage, Mapes and Schultz

voted no.

Overall Recommendation by the Jo Daviess County Board

On February 11, 2008 the Jo Daviess County Board considered an overall recommendation with respect to

the siting of the two proposed facilities Tradition North and Tradition South.

The Jo Daviess County Board voted 11-5 in favor to approve a motion to follow the recommendation

of the Development & Planning Committee to not recommend this facility (Tradition North/Tradition

South) as applied for, and voted 12-4 in favor of a motion to amendment the original motion that

there are two applications Tradition North and Tradition South, and voted 10-6 in favor to approve a

second amendment to the original motion to attach the following documents to the motion:

1. Assessment of the Geology and Hydrogeology of a Proposed Large Dairy Facility Near Nora, IL:

Tradition South Site submitted by Samuel V. Panno, Senior Geochemist, Isotope Geochemistry Section,

Illinois State Geological Survey.

2. Assessment of the Geology and Hydrogeology of a Proposed Large Dairy Facility Near Nora, IL:

Tradition North Site submitted by Samuel V. Panno, Senior Geochemist, Isotope Geochemistry Section,

Illinois State Geological Survey.

 

3. Analysis of the Soil Boring Information for the Proposed Tradition Dairy Farms compiled by Lester

Johnson, Jo Daviess County Resource Conservationist;

4. USDA NRCS Wetland Inventory Map submitted by Lester Johnson, Jo Daviess County Resource

Conservationist.

5. The business affidavit letter from Attorney Fredrick Roth to Warren Goetsch, Bureau Chief,

Environmental Programs, Illinois Department of Agriculture.

In conclusion, pursuant to the Illinois Livestock Management Facilities Act, the Jo Daviess County

Board recommends that five (5) of the eight (8) siting criteria as set forth in the Act have not been

achieved and by a vote of 11-5 the Jo Daviess County Board does not recommend approval of the two

proposed facilities, Tradition North and Tradition South, as applied for, and by a vote of 10-6 the Jo

Daviess County Board recommends that the documents listed above be attached to this

recommendation (enclosed with this letter).

This advisory, non-binding recommendation is being filed within the 30 working days of the informational

hearing held January 10, 2008.

The Jo Daviess County Board trusts that these recommendations will be given consideration by the

Department of Agriculture in its decisions regarding Tradition North and Tradition South.

If you or the Department has any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Sincerely,

Marvin Schultz

Chairman, Jo Daviess County Board

cc: Jo Daviess County Board

Terry M. Kurt, Jo Daviess County State’s Attorney

Dan Reimer, Jo Daviess County Administrator

Jean Dimke, Jo Daviess County Clerk

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