Monday, October 6, 2008

Producers Were in Compliance

File Review Clears Farmers’ Names
Submitted by Editor on Fri, 10/03/2008 - 1:11pm.

Issues Still Found With DEP Records
Chris Torres Staff Writer

HARRISBURG, Pa. — David Zimmerman thinks he can rest a bit easier, now that his former dairy farm has been cleared from a recent report on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Lancaster County.

That was after an in-depth inspection of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) files Monday.

An editor and a reporter from the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, as well as an attorney from PennFuture and Zimmerman, whose former dairy farm, Meadowview Farms LLC in Reinholds, appeared in PennFuture’s “Sick Susquehanna” report, took part in the inspection of CAFO files at the department’s southcentral regional office.

Lancaster Farming did a follow-up in which the farmers disputed the report, claiming their information was up to date and was submitted to state officials.

The review Monday cleared the names of David Zimmerman and Richard Rutt, whose information was in different files than were given to Snell-Zarcone when she did her review.

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One week ago I shared with you the article that criticized a few specific producers and the Pennsylvania Dept of Environmental Protection because these producer’s CAFO files were allegedly no up to date. After several complaints, the newspaper that published the story agreed to do it’s own research on the issue and found that most of the operations in questions did in fact have their paperwork current. Obviously when groups go digging into producer’s files, they will be looking for anything they can make into a headline. Not giving them the opportunity to trash agriculture in the media is our job.

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