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Neighbors Question Oregon's Oversight Of Willamette Valley Cheese Dairy


Wym Matthews with the Oregon Department of Agriculture speaks at a hearing to discuss wastewater permits for a proposed new dairy next to Willamette Valley Cheese Co. on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Salem, Oregon.

Wym Matthews with the Oregon Department of Agriculture speaks at a hearing to discuss wastewater permits for a proposed new dairy next to Willamette Valley Cheese Co. on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Salem, Oregon.

Molly J. Smith/Statesman Journal

How did a Salem-area dairy rack up dozens of environmental violations over 15 years without the public knowing anything about it?

That’s what attendees at a public hearing on a new permit for the dairy asked the Oregon Department of Agriculture Wednesday.

Last fall, after a week-long manure discharge contaminated nearby Spring Valley Creek, ODA shut down the dairy, which traditionally provided milk for Willamette Valley Cheese Company.

In an article Dec. 5, the Statesman Journal reported on the dairy’s long history of environmental problems, including manure piles kept on the bare ground, a leaking lagoon, manure running down a driveway ditch, and incomplete recordkeeping the state requires to ensure dairies are following regulations. 

Read the whole story at the Statesman Journal.

 

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