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Southwest Kansas Dairy Gets Reprieve

KSCB News - January 30, 2012 8:42 am

The state has reversed its intent to terminate the operations of a southwest Kansas dairy with officials saying the owners are getting the facility into compliance with state and federal regulations.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced this week that CAG Cimarron Dairy has made considerable improvements this month and that the state is withdrawing its notice of intent to terminate the dairy’s water pollution control permit, which the dairy needs to keep running.

"The past two weeks, they have accomplished a lot that we asked them to do," said Terry Medley, KDHE’s Livestock Waste Management Section chief. "They have a lot of the initial stuff cleaned up."

According to a document filed in the Kansas Register, dairy owner Jack Koopman is permitted to operate a 9,050-head facility in Gray County. The dairy has four lagoons, three retention structures, three basins and 19 drying beds to control waste generated at the facility.

KDHE’s initial intent was published Jan. 5 in the Kansas Register. The notice stated that the dairy had failed to comply with the current permit, state and federal requirements and a consent agreement and final order that the dairy entered in October 2009.

Medley said earlier this month that the dairy had several violations since the Koopmans purchased it in 2006.

KDHE issued an administrative order in April 2009 for numerous violations, according to the notice.

At that time, the dairy paid $40,000 for its violations, Medley said. The dairy, however, never fixed the problems cited.

"The permittee has had a long and continuing history of permit violations; therefore, KDHE is public noticing its intent to terminate the permit," the Jan. 5 document stated.

Medley said he and others met on the issue Wednesday. He said CAG already has fixed more than half of its problems, which helped spur the agency to reverse its decision.

The Koopmans must have a majority of the remaining issues resolved by March 15, he said.

The Koopmans’ other dairy, in Deerfield, doesn’t have any current violations, he said.

According to the company website, Ceres Agrar GmbH, or CAG, originated in 1900 in the Netherlands and was founded by Jacob Koopman.

In 1995, because of limited expansion possibilities and the drive for long-term growth, Jack Koopman, the third-generation dairyman, and his wife, Angeline, immigrated to Germany. In 2006, the dairy company expanded into Russia and into the United States when it acquired Cimarron Dairy.

In 2007, it leased West Plains Dairy in Scott County. That dairy also had health violations at that facility, Medley said, but CAG no longer operates that dairy.

Medley said that the Koopmans said there were some internal communication issues that resulted in the noncompliance.

 

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