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Friday, July 07, 2017

New battle looming over permitting hog farm in PA

Last year, the Bivouac Swine Farm owners thought that by now, they would be wrapping up construction on their barns by a wooded stream in south-central Pennsylvania, and preparing to house 8,700 pigs in a new breeding facility.

Instead, the 224-acre operation near McConnellsburg is on hold, after neighboring residents and environmental activists concerned it would harm local water quality won a rare legal victory blocking it. An appeals board judge ruled last year that state regulators had failed to properly vet the farm’s plans for preventing pig waste from entering Big Cove Creek, a state-designated coldwater fishing stream that ultimately drains into the Potomac River.

The dispute may be about to resume, as a representative of Country View Family Farms, the parent company for the swine operation, said it planned to reapply in June to the Department of Environmental Protection for approval of its stormwater management plan for the site. Residents say they’re girding to oppose it again.

“I’ve lived here for more than 30 years,” neighbor Marjorie Hudson said. “My family is from here. I’m related to almost everyone in the county. I don’t think this is the right thing in the right place.”

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