Media Alert: Tonapah, AZ April 19 Public Hearing on Hickman Egg Permit Changes



Public Hearing April 19th on Air Pollution Permit Changes for Contested Hickman Egg Operation in Tonopah

High attendance expected for MCAQD meeting on modified Hickman air pollution application;  Written comment period ends Friday, April 22nd

WHAT:  A public meeting sponsored by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department offers citizens the         chance to respond to a proposal for an air quality permit modification allowing additional air pollution emissions from the controversial Hickman egg-laying facility in Tonopah.

WHEN:  Tuesday, April 19, 2016 | 6:00pm PT

WHERE: Ruth Fisher Elementary School Cafeteria, 38201 W Indian School Road, Tonopah, AZ 85354

When you talk about the polluting of a community, the devil is in the details. This hearing is about the details of how Hickman’s continues its unhealthy and un-neighborly attempt to create maximum profits for itself at the expense of Tonopah — its people, its businesses and its future.

– Linda Butler, Chairwoman, Save Tonopah Oppose Poultry Plant (STOPP, Inc.)

Hickman’s Desert Pride facility currently houses more than 3 million laying hens. It will eventually reach nearly 10 million birds at an industrial-scale operation comprised of 28 laying houses, 2 processing plants and a total of 4 egg production wastewater ponds measuring nearly twice the length of a football field (540 ft) and 6 feet deep, storing more than 3 million gallons of contaminated liquid open to the environment and the community. The facility stands within a few hundred feet of Tonopah residences, businesses and natural hot springs, threatening public health, the use, enjoyment and values of surrounding properties and the local economy.

Points of interest for this air pollution permit modification hearing:

  • More air emissions are coming: The proposed new installation of ˜emergency’ engines and boilers at the Hickman plant will expand the already extremely negative air quality impact on Tonopah residents.
  • Operation already in violation: Though only one-third of the way completed, Desert Pride already exceeds the limits of federal emissions standards for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), causing a stench that includes hazardous levels of ammonia.
  • Last minute data switches: Key portions of Hickman’s revised Technical Support Document issued in the MCAQD Public Notice differ from what was submitted for the originally scheduled public hearing on 3/22.
  • A historically flawed public process: This hearing is the first procedurally correct event that MCAQD has held on the Hickman operation. Fact: Massive egg production there has been conducted illegitimately without proper permitting and in violation of county, state and federal law.

The current Hickman application, Technical Support Document and draft permit are available for public review.

For more information, contact:      

Linda Butler, STOPP Inc. | | 805-452-5450

Steve Masar, SRAP | | 415-420 7527