CAFO request pulled despite approval


A Freetown man recently withdrew his permit application from the state to build a confined animal feeding operation near Brownstown.

James R. Lucas, who had received approval for the 8,000-head CAFO from the county in December, made that decision June 12 when he wrote a letter to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, according to public documents.

“After serious consideration, James R. Lucas Farms LLC has decided at this time to withdraw the application,” Lucas wrote.

On June 16, Joseph Williams, the section chief of confined feeding operation permits for the state, responded and granted his request, according to the documents.

Lucas was contacted by phone by The Tribune on Thursday but did not respond for an interview.

He and his son had plans to build two 4,000-head hog barns set on 159.37 acres at 1502 W. County Road 300N in Brownstown Township. This is a zoned agricultural floodplain.

In a 4-0 vote, with one member absent, the board of zoning appeals approved the special exception in December for the early-wean-to-finish hog operation.

The family’s request had been tabled since January 2014 because at that time, the Lucases still needed approval from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. On Oct. 31, they received that permit.

The last step was approval from IDEM, which was applied for April 22. The state agency regulates building setbacks, manure handling, design and construction and stormwater runoff for large-scale livestock barns.

IDEM public information officer Barry Sneed said the Lucases have the opportunity to reapply again in the future.

The Lucases’ hog operation was the second approved by the board of zoning appeals last year.

Leah and Kyle Broshears of Seymour received approval in October to build one northwest of county roads 1050E and 200S between Dudleytown and Uniontown. A group of homeowners living near the proposed operation have filed a lawsuit asking a judge to annul the decision.

Both CAFOs were under the rules of the previous county CAFO ordinance. It has since been updated to regulate size, placement and odor control of such hog operations.

No posts to display