(Host) The Hinsdale Farm in Charlotte has received a permit to construct a dam around a large manure storage pond. The project is just one part of a controversial proposal to expand the existing dairy herd to 2,500 cows.
The Natural Resources Conservation District reviewed the dam proposal to make sure it meets national standards. The independent district approved the dam’s structural integrity and its ability to protect the public good. Neighbors raised concerns that the dam would allow liquid manure to seep into the groundwater.
Nancy Allen is the Conservation District manager. She says general criticism of the farm expansion was misdirected at this particular dam permit:
(Allen) “When we had the public hearing, we had to do it in a very, very structured way because everybody wants to not focus on this one little issue. They’re looking at the big, huge picture. That’s not the charge of the District.”
(Host) Neighbors of the farm say the District wasn’t responsive to their concerns over groundwater safety. They have 30 days to decide whether to appeal the permit.
The Hinsdales still need to gain a large farm permit from the state Department of Agriculture.