Kansas pork producer violates rules; endangering us all

By

Opinion

January 2, 2020 - 9:58 AM

There’s a reason that we have a nonpartisan, independent judiciary system in Kansas. And a recent decision by a Shawnee County judge over the Kansas Department of Health and Environment improperly issuing permits for hog farming proves the point.

In essence, hog producers thought they might have found a loophole in state water protection laws. The KDHE under former Gov. Sam Brownback seemed to accept the move.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal’s Tim Carpenter wrote: “The central issue in a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club of Kansas was whether KDHE enabled prominent north-central Kansas hog farmer Terry Nelson and his relatives to sidestep sewage waste discharge controls and to subvert livestock concentration limits by creating side-by-side businesses out of what were actually single operational complexes. All swine facilities in the dispute were under common management but segregated in the 2017 permit application process by establishing four separate limited liability companies.”

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