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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Environment - More on: IDEM revokes approvals for confined feeding operation in Huntington County; writ sought

This ILB entry from May 4th quotes from a Fort Wayne Journal Gazette story that:

Officials at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management have revoked the permit for a rural Huntington County dairy accused of fouling local waterways.

The 1,400-cow DeGroot Dairy, 8278 W. County Road 200 South near Andrews, is also currently the subject of a court case in which the state is seeking an injunction prohibiting the dairy owner, Johannes DeGroot, from spreading manure from the cows on nearby fields. * * *

In its letter mailed to DeGroot on Tuesday, IDEM outlines 13 permit violations by the dairy, dating to September 2005 and continuing until the April 11 spill, and IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly revoked the approvals for the confined feeding operation. * * *

DeGroot has 15 days to appeal the decision to the Office of Environmental Adjudication, according to Amy Hartsock, IDEM spokeswoman.

Peter Racher, DeGroot’s attorney, said he anticipates DeGroot will file a petition for review by the Office of Environmental Adjudication. * * *

The permit revocation is also a separate action from the pending court case, both sides said.

On Wednesday, Huntington Circuit Judge Thomas Hakes heard arguments about the April contamination, with the state arguing the manure in the water was the latest in a long line of violations at the dairy and DeGroot’s attorneys arguing the contamination in the water had not been linked to DeGroot’s herd.

The following are the Supreme Court docket entries in the case of STATE OF INDIANA, ex rel DEGROOT v. HUNTINGTON SUPERIOR CT (35-S-00-0705-OR-00185). All items are dated 5/9/07:
Relators' verified petition for emergency writ

Relators' verified petition for writ of mandamus and prohibition

Received: emergency writ of mandamus and prohibition

Received: permanent writ of mandamus and prohibition

Received: notice of hearing

Brief in support of petition for permanent writ of mandamus and prohibition
Issued the enclosed order:

The court grants in part and denies in part the request for an emergency writ.

In particular, the Huntington Superior Court and the honorable Thomas M. Hakes, as special judge thereof, are ordered to refrain from entering a decision on the request for preliminary injunction until such time as this court rules upon relators' request for a permanent writ of mandamus and prohibition.

However, any orders previously issued by Judge Hakes remain in effect, and Judge Hakes may otherwise continue to exercise jurisdiction generally over the proceedings below.

This court determines this original action warrants additional briefing. Accordingly, the Honorable Thomas M. Hakes (by himself or by counsel), the Honorable Jeffrey R. Heffelfinger (by himself or by counsel), as well as any party opposing the relators in the case below who opposes issuance of the permanent writ, may each file a brief opposing issuance of the permanent writ and, if appropriate, a supplemental record of proceedings.

Any supplemental record should be submitted in the same format required for the record under original action rule 3(c). Such briefs or supplemental records should be filed directly with the Clerk of the Supreme Court in indianapolis and must be physically on file by noon on Wednesday, May 16, 2007, and not simply in the mail by that time.

Once briefing is completed, the court will take the matter under advisement.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 10, 2007 03:58 PM
Posted to Environment | Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions | Ind. Trial Ct. Decisions