Ponderosa Dairy Appeal
Water Pollution Control Permit No. NV0023027
The Ponderosa Appeal has been concluded. The appeal was held on January 19 and 20  in Carson City at the Bryan Building - 2nd Floor Tahoe Room. The audio recording of the two day proceeding is available here
You can also "view" the court reporters transcript of the hearing [see links below]; if you would like a print copy of the transcript please contact Capitol Reporters, 1201 N. Stewart St. Ste 130, Carson City, NV 89706 [Ph. (775) 882-5322]
The formal written decision of the Commission was issued on February 18, 2010. The written decision presents finding of fact and conclusion of law; the conclusion of law section of the decision address eight (8) specific issues addressed in the appeal.
[Download the Decision of the State Environmental Commission [8 pages - PDF file]
It should be noted the Commission did find in favor of the Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) on most counts addressed in the appeal. The Commission did, however, direct NDEP to amend the water pollution control permit, issued to the Ponderosa Dairy, to include a well monitoring system and to make monitoring reports available to the public through the division's website.
About The Appeal
In brief, the dairy proposed to expand its operations, which are located at G Ranch and Mecca Roads in Amargosa Valley, Nye County, Nevada [See Interactive Google Map]. The permit [which has been granted] increased the allowable flow of water from 0.625 million gallons per day (MGD) to 1.000 MGD. With over 9,000 cows, the dairy is defined as a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO). As a CAFO, the dairy is required to contain all manure and process wastewater from the production area except overflow resulting from a storm greater than the 25-year, 24-hour event. The land application of manure and process wastewater is also required to be in compliance with NDEP's approved nutrient management plan. The receiving waters of concern are groundwater via percolation of irrigation flows, and the Amargosa River via stormwater overflow.
In May 2007, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection's (NDEP) Bureau of Water Pollution Control issued a public notice and fact sheet for the renewal of Rockview Farms' [Ponderosa Dairy] Water Pollution Control Permit #NV0023027. The public notice and fact sheet contained a detailed description of the entire Ponderosa Dairy facility.
The notice and fact sheet described NDEP's basis for the permit, the public comment process, as well as NDEP's tentative determination for renewing of the permit for an additional five-year period. NDEP's decision to renew the Ponderosa Permit was issued on October 25, 2007. That [final] decision was subsequently appealed to the State Environmental Commission on November 03, 2007 by John F. Bosta and Antonio Guerra Martinez. Following these appeals Ponderosa Dairy formally requested to intervene in the appeal proceeding.
Following these actions, on February 13, 2009 Mr. John Marshall on behalf of a non-profit organization know as ACE (Amargosa Citizens for the Environment), filed a “Request to Intervene” in the above referenced appeal. This action was then followed by an “Opposition to Petition [by ACE] for Leave to Intervene” filed by the attorneys representing Ponderosa Dairy.
On March 17, 2009 the SEC issued a notice for a preliminary hearing to consider intervener status for both Rockview Farms and Amargosa Citizens for the Environment. The audio recording of the March 31st hearing is posted below. At the hearing the SEC's appeals panel approved intervener status for both parties noted above. A copy of the order dated April 27, 2009 "Order Regarding Petitions to Intervene..." is also posted below.
On July 09, 2009 the SEC conducted a second appeal hearing, however for "process related" legal reasons this hearing was discontinued and postponed [It was subsequently concluded on January 19 and 20, 2010. The audio files of the July 09, 2009 hearing and the January 19th & 20th hearing are posted below.
All of the relevant documents discussed here are available below.
Ponderosa Dairy Appeal Documents
SEC Documents [State Environmental Commission]
- November 08, 2007 — SEC Letter to Mike Kwiakowski [Ponderosa Dairy] noting Opportunity to Intervene [1 Page]
- March 17, 2009 — SEC Preliminary Hearing Notice [2 Pages]
- March 17, 2009 — Hearing Audio File
- April 27, 2009 — Order Regarding Petitions to Intervene by Rockview Farms and Amargosa Citizens for the Environment (ACE) [1 Pages] and the Certificate of Service [1 Page]
- June 30, 2009 — Notice of Appeal Hearing: Ponderosa Dairy Permit #NV0023027 [3 Pages]
- July 09, 2009 — Audio Files of the July 9, 2009 hearing
- July 09, 2009 — Print Copy - Court Reports Verbatim Record [61 Pages]
- January 08, 2010 — January 19 SEC Appeal Hearing Notice & Certificate of Service [4 Pages]
- January 22, 2010 —January 19 and 20 Appeal Hearing audio recording
- February 18, 2010 —Decision of the State Environmental Commission [8 pages - PDF file]