Media Alert: Maricopa County Public Hearing on Controversial Hickman Egg Operation Air Pollution Permit


WHAT: Local opposition presentations and public comment Maricopa County Air Quality Department RE: Proposed Air Quality Permit and Public Hearing, Hickmans Egg Ranch, Inc., Arlington, AZ

WHEN: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 | 6:00pm PT

WHERE: Arlington Elementary School Gymnasium, 9410 S. 355th Ave, Arlington, AZ 85322

Information and technical comments will be presented to the Maricopa County Air Quality Department challenging the incomplete and faulty air quality application and permit draft currently under review for the Hickman’s Arlington egg operation. Facts presented in opposition to the permit will include:

> The proposed draft permit is inadequate to control harmful emissions from the operation
Based on the established fact that the Hickman operation is a current source of community pollution likely exceeding volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions standards for the Maricopa County air quality nonattainment area, the operation should be required to have a Title V Clean Air Act permit.

> The permit terms do not properly address air pollution and odor problems impacting the community
Quality of life and public health impacts due to the overwhelming odors and harmful pollutants already coming from the Hickman operation are a matter of record. The proposed permit will allow those impacts to continue and possibly worsen in violation of state law.

> The permit application and draft permit mischaracterize emissions produced by the Hickman operation
Whether improperly quantified or seriously underestimated, the types and amounts of pollution estimated to be produced by the Hickman’s Arlington operation are in error. An adequate air quality permit designed to protect the public and the environment cannot be properly issued on faulty data.

> The permit application includes an attempt to misidentify the CAFO as non-industrial to avoid regulation
A 12-million bird egg-laying operation, egg processing plant and fertilizer manufacturing facility no-doubt constitute an industrial concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), according to federal regulations. With a call to remove CAFO-related air pollution control permit requirements in their permit application, the Hickmans are seeking to escape legitimate regulation by miscasting their massive pollution-generating operation as a purely “agricultural” and subject to lesser pollution standards.

Click here for a copy of the Maricopa County Air Quality Department public notice for this hearing, including a link to the Hickman application and the draft permit.

For more information, contact:
Linda Butler, STOPP Inc.

Steve Masar, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project