By Jim Hagerty
The Illinois Attorney General ended a six-month investigation of a Jo Daviess County mega-dairy last week by citing the operation with five violations.
Traditions Dairy was cited Wednesday, April 20, for discharging pollutants without a federal permit and alleged water-related violations.
The investigation centers on silage discharge Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office claims could contaminate the drinking water of the 5,000-head dairy’s neighbors. The pollutants have already turned a portion of the Apple River’s south fork purple, the state says.
According to the complaint, Traditions Dairy has 60 days to respond. If it fails, owners could face up to $250,000 in fines.
Traditions Dairy, near Nora, Ill., was also named in a lawsuit filed by HOMES (Helping Others Maintain Environmental Standards), and 12 other plaintiffs, three years ago. The suit is an attempt to protect family farms and the environment by curtailing the dairy’s expansion.
A portion of its site has been under construction since 2008.
The dairy has USDA approval, however, is still being reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency on the state and federal levels.
Spokesmen from Traditions Dairy could not be reached for comment.
From the April 27-May 3, 2011 issue