Ohio is well known among State Departments of Agriculture for its Livestock Environmental Permitting Program – it is one of the most well regulated state programs in the country, permitting and inspecting over 157 large livestock operations in a state with a very tight rural-urban interface. These facilities, in the case of dairy, are larger than 700 animal units, and require a permit to build facilities, and a permit to operate once constructed. For the past year, ODA has been defending the program from an appeal waged by Citizens Against Megafarm Dairy Development before the Environmental Review Appeals Commision.
I spoke with ODA’s Director of Communication Melanie Wilt about the decision in the case, and learned how the attempt at curbing the regulatory program actually galvonized it. Listen to Melanie Wilt Discuss the ERAC Decision (7:51 mp3)