Steuben dairy farm faces EPA sanctions

FORT WAYNE - Steuben County dairy has been found in violation of numerous environmental standards, including allowing illegal waste discharges, a report from the Environmental Protection Agency said.
calendar icon 5 January 2007
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At DeJong Dairy Leasing LLC, 5409 E. Ray Clark Road, outside Fremont in northern Steuben County, inspectors found farmworkers had the ability to discharge wastewater from a pond on the property into the County Road 550 East ditch, located about a half-mile from the farm. The ditch flows into Pigeon Creek, which is a tributary to the Pigeon River and the St. Joseph River, which flows to Lake Michigan.

During the inspection, a verbal agreement with the dairy’s owner was made to permanently plug the drain tile outlet from the pond.

The 39-acre, 900-cattle dairy was inspected Oct. 19 by officials from the U.S. EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the report said.

The dairy is owned by Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development, LLC, based in Wauseon, Ohio.

Local operator Simon DeJong, who moved to Steuben County from the Netherlands, declined to comment Thursday, saying he hadn’t received a copy of the report.

The farm received county approval in June 2005 to expand from about 550 cattle to 900. A request to bump that number up to 1,200 was denied last year by the county commissioners.

Source: The Journal Gazette
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