ANGOLA, Ind. (WANE) – The possibility of a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) being built in Steuben County is causing concern for some residents.
Keith Werner,who owns K and D Contract Pork LLC, applied last May for a permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to build a CAFO with 4,800 hogs separated into two 100 x 200 barns on his property in Steuben County.
The permit was approved last month which has caused concerns to grow among residents.
The Steuben Lakes Environmental Consortium was formed last June in response to the application. The group is composed of residents who live on Crooked, Gage, and Pine Canyon lakes. The group set up an online petition addressing some of their concerns. They’re worried about possible sanitation issues and other impacts down the road.
Group members said there will be more than 2 million gallons of manure a year that will be spread on nearby fields in close proximity to the lakes. An issue is if it rains, the waste associated with the CAFO can run downhill on the sloping landscape to adjacent lakes which include Pine Canyon Lake, Grass Lake, Crooked Lake, and Lake Gage. In addition, members said Steuben County’s high water table causes the area to be susceptible to contamination, and most of the residents who live there get water from wells. The group also raises concerns about odors on warmer summer days.
The group is w that if it is built and the odors persist or lake contamination happens, it could eventually deter tourism from the area which is a large part of their economy.
“We aren’t anti-business,” Tom Danford, the manager of the SLEC. “We aren’t anti-agriculture by any stretch. We all need agriculture. We need production of crops and animals and that sort of thing. The question is really about location. Is this the appropriate place.”
K and D Contract Pork, LLC will go before the local planning commission on April 2. Then on April 7, K and D as well as concerned citizens will be able to present their sides to the Steuben County Board of Zoning Appeals.