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Montgomery Co. Residents To Meet, Discuss Application For CFO

Annie Ropeik
File Photo

A requested permit to open a confined feeding operation, or CFO, has some residents in Montgomery County concerned.

The permit was submitted by Bowlder Ridge LLC. Documents from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management say the request, submitted May 21, is for a farm of 8,800 hogs near the small town of Linden.

Monty Eldridge, a county resident who lives near the proposed site, says he received a notice from IDEM about the requested permit. He says he’s gone door to door to speak with other residents.

“Most people are mad – really mad,” Eldridge says. “Most weren’t even notified by IDEM. They wouldn’t even have known about it if myself and a neighbor hadn’t been going door to door.”

IDEM requires that applicants notify county commissioners, landowners on adjoining properties, and landowners within half a mile of proposed CFOs and waste storage structures of a requested permit. IDEM notifies the county health department, town council presidents and mayors for nearby communities.

Montgomery County commissioners were notified of the permit request.

Eldridge has arranged an informational meeting Tuesday to discuss ways to halt the farm’s construction. That includes pushing for local regulations.

“What to do, who to contact, information to dig up as far as local ordinances,” Eldridge says.

CFOs and their bigger, more concentrated counterparts, called CAFOs, are listed as an undesirable land use in the county’s recently-passed comprehensive plan. But they aren’t addressed in the drafted zoning ordinance headed to county commissioners later this month.

CFOs have faced criticism and even lawsuits for air emissions and odor. A bill to enact stricter regulations failed during this year’s legislative session.

Bowlder Ridge LLC did not respond to requests for comment.