… The Missouri Clean Water Commission voted 4-1 Wednesday
to uphold a permit issued in June for Pipestone System’s Tipton East operation.
Opponents of Cooper County CAFOs, a group made up of area residents, appealed
the permit over concerns it could contaminate their water supply…
Commission upholds Tipton East CAFO permit
Opponents of the Tipton East CAFO near the Cooper-Moniteau county line say they plan to appeal the Clean Water Commission’s ruling to the Western District Court of Appeals.
By Brendan Crowley, Boonville Daily News (MO)
Jan 9, 2019
JEFFERSON CITY — The sixth and most recent confined animal feeding operation, or CAFO, in Cooper County will keep its operating permit, but opponents say they plan to take their appeal to the courts.
The Missouri Clean Water Commission voted 4-1 Wednesday to uphold a permit issued in June for Pipestone System’s Tipton East operation. Opponents of Cooper County CAFOs, a group made up of area residents, appealed the permit over concerns it could contaminate their water supply.
Fred Williams lives near the site around the Cooper-Moniteau county line and is president of the opposition group. He said most people in the area get their water from wells, and there would not be an alternative source if groundwater is contaminated.
Commissioners who voted to uphold the permit said it satisfied legal and regulatory requirements. Commissioner Pat Thomas, who attended by telephone, said the concerns raised by opponents could only be addressed by the state legislature.
Stephen Jeffery, attorney for the opponents, cited the testimony of geohydrologist Thomas Aley, who said the soil and geology of the Tipton East site would inevitably damage its underground, concrete manure storage pit. The soil has a high “shrink-swell” potential, Aley said, citing a USDA soil survey of Cooper County. That means the soil will expand when it’s saturated, putting pressure on the concrete pit that could cause it to crack, he said.
Commissioner Stan Coday said Jeffery was cherry-picking facts. While Jeffery noted portions of the USDA soil survey that showed the soil’s shrink-swell could fracture concrete, he didn’t mention that the soil’s permeability was rated moderately low, Coday said.
“Looking at soils is an important aspect,” said Coday, noting that he taught soils as a vocational agriculture instructor for 30 years. The commission had to set those concerns aside, he said, because they are outside its authority.
Commissioner John Reece was the only vote against the permit. He said he worked 48 years in engineering and learned there are two types of concrete.
“Concrete that’s cracked, and concrete that’s gonna crack,” Reece said...