Press Releases

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November 20, 2012

A.J. Bos Agrees to Abandon Traditions Megadairy Project Near Nora, IL

After Five Years of Controversy, Poorly Sited Animal Factory Being Cleaned Up for Sale

Warren, Illinois – On November 15, 2012, the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) announced a proposed settlement agreement between the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and Traditions megadairy owner/investor, A.J. Bos of Bakersfield, California. According to the terms of the settlement, Bos will abandon the site in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, where the Traditions facility was being constructed. Workers are already land-applying the remaining liquids contained in the partially constructed manure ponds and digester pit to prepare the land for sale.

“Stopping this dangerous project would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of HOMES and their supporters.  Never before in my work in Illinois and across the country have I witnessed a community succeeding in halting the construction of an industrial livestock production facility after groundbreaking,” says Danielle Diamond, Attorney for the Illinois Citizens for Clean Air & Water and Executive Director of the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project.

This unprecedented achievement effectively ends a five-year, multi-million dollar battle between Bos and Jo Daviess County family farmers and residents, who were determined to evict the gigantic animal factory to protect their clean drinking water, clean air, and way of life. The megadairy operation was sited atop fragile karst bedrock, which could allow countless tons of waste and liquid manure to contaminate groundwater.

Click here for full story - (Link to Bos Abandons Nora Megadairy PR.pdf)

September 12, 2011

Illinois EPA Denies Water Permit to Nora Megadairy

Failure to Obtain Permit Prevents Megadairy From Completing Construction

Springfield, IL – On September 2nd, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) denied the Traditions megadairy’s Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification application, which was originally submitted by the Nora facility on July 25, 2008.

The 401 certification was required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after the Corps determined that the megadairy was planning to build one of its two 14 acre manure ponds atop of a tributary at the headwaters of the Apple River.

If megadairy ever wants to become operational, it will either have to reapply for the 401 permit certification with the IEPA, or submit a new set of revised plans with the IDOA for a much smaller facility that doesn’t need both 14 acre manure ponds.

Click here for full story - (Link to IL EPA Denies 401 Permit.9.12.11.pdf)

April 21, 2011

Illinois Attorney General Files Five-Count Suit Against Megadairy

Suit Requests IL Pollution Control Board to Assess Fines of Over $250,000

Chicago, IL – On April 20, the Illinois Attorney General filed a five-count suit with the Illinois Pollution Control Board against the Traditions megadairy being built by A.J. Bos in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. This suit adds yet another hurdle that the California millionaire investor will have to clear before he can operate his 5,500-head dairy, which will endanger the pristine Apple River Canyon State Park and jeopardize dozens of family-owned farms.

The five counts address Clean Water Act violations, including water pollution, discharging without a permit, and discharging effluent into waters of the state. Each of the five counts carries a penalty of $50,000 per incident plus $10,000 per day, for a total fine of more than $250,000.

Click here for full story - (Link to IL AG Files Suit against Mega Dairy.pdf)

November 21, 2010

Megadairy Again Refuses to Comply with EPA’s Request for Information

Lawyers Dismiss Purple Discharge as Unimportant and Claim EPA Has No Authority

Warren, IL - On November 9, lawyers representing the proposed megadairy near Nora, IL, responded to the October 27 letter from the US EPA that gave them “a final opportunity to comply.” Again, the multi-millionaire owner refused to perform tests that the US EPA said would conclusively prove or disprove the presence of karst terrane. The EPA is requesting these tests to determine if the facility needs to apply for an NPDES discharge permit.

Click here for full story - (Link to Megadairy 2nd Reply to EPA 11.17.10.pdf)

November 4, 2010

US EPA Gives Megadairy Last Chance to Comply with Clean Water Act

Letter Says Purple Discharge Renders Moot the Megadairy’s Claim of Zero Discharge

Warren, IL - On Wednesday, October 27, the US EPA sent a letter to the law firm representing the proposed megadairy near Nora, IL, giving them “a final opportunity to comply with the July 1, 2010 Request for Information EPA issued to the Dairy.”

“Failure to comply with the Information Request may result in enforcement action by the EPA,” stated the letter from the EPA, which gave the megadairy 5 days to reply to this latest request.

Click here for full story (Link to EPA 2nd request 11.3.10.pdf)

October 10, 2010

Massive Discharge of Purple Contaminants from MegaDairy

Tributary to South Fork of Apple River Dyed Purple by Unknown Contaminants at Megadairy

Warren, IL - On Friday morning, October 1, concerned citizens living close to the megadairy near Nora, IL noticed that the previously clear tributary to the Apple River was suddenly dark purple.

Representatives of both the Illinois EPA and the US EPA, as well as the Jo Daviess Sheriff’s department and the Jo Daviess Hazmat team arrived on site to evaluate the contaminates flooding into the stream.

Click here for full story (Link to Purple Discharge PR 10.2.10.pdf)

August 4, 2010

US EPA Demands Detailed On-Site Testing by Megadairy

Warren, IL - On July 1st, 2010, the US EPA sent a third request for information to AJ Bos and Traditions South Dairy. Citing Traditions South’s need to comply with the Clean Water Act, the EPA has requested a sophisticated series of tests to “identify and characterize subsurface fractures or karst like features” at the site of the facility.

The US EPA is concerned that the megadairy proposed for Jo Daviess County could contaminate nearby wells, streams, or springs. To test if waste material from the site could contaminate drinking water, the US EPA has asked the megadairy owner to perform a dye tracing study.

Click here for full story (Link to EPA Tracer Study PR 7.30.10.pdf)

June 9, 2010

Environmental Groups File Amicus Brief Opposing MegaDairy

Three Illinois Environmental Groups Filed a Brief Supporting HOMES

Warren, IL - On May 25th, attorneys for the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited, and the Prairie Rivers Network filed an Amicus Brief (Friend of the Court) with the Illinois Appellate Court , 2nd Judicial District. This filing specifically addressed Circuit Court Judge Ward’s ruling that HOMES and the plaintiffs in this case didn’t have standing to question the decision of the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA). In the appeal they state:

The circuit court … closed the courthouse doors for those most directly impacted by the IDOA’s unlawful decision to authorize Defendant A.J. Bos to build a new industrial dairy in a landscape vulnerable to catastrophic groundwater and surface water contamination. Even more troubling is the potential result whereby critical decisions of state agencies are forever shielded from judicial scrutiny, leaving those agencies free to misapply or ignore the laws that direct and constrain their use of power.”

Click here for full story (Link to Amicus Brief PR 6.9.10.pdf)