The recent rulings in both the District and Appellate Courts concerning the Delta County hen laying operations are based on the health impacts to neighbors. The District Court stated, "... these rulings have no application to existing agricultural uses."
A total of 19 health complaints in the record were filed with the county. The likely source of these health complaints filed is evident from the results of the county's own air monitoring testing and the subsequent laboratory culturing of the test results from spore traps and bacteria samples. The county's report from samples taken on Aug. 18, 2012, cites downwind fungal spore counts of 13,000 and more than 100,000 colony forming units of bacteria per cubic meter of air escaping the factory farm. A second testing laboratory identified numerous of the multiple types of fungal and mold spores and bacteria in the samples collected as allergenic, triggering asthma, hay fever, skin lesions, nasal and subcutaneous lesions, pulmonary infections, pneumonitis and in some cases even capable of causing cancer. Other spores and rusts were identified as plant pathogens as well as causing root disease in plants. The air monitoring report stated, "The concentration of fungal and bacterial particles generated from the facility is in the tens of millions per second."
It is not surprising then that downwind neighbors, some who have had family farms for 25 and 49 years at their current locations, have suffered negative health and crop impacts since the egg laying farm factory was populated with 15,000 chickens in April 2012. What is surprising is that the Delta County Health Department did not interview one of the complainants despite the air monitoring report advising "... analysis of the health effects should be approached with caution and with the input of a qualified medical practitioner" and that, "Further health impacts of this facility should be conducted in concert with medical specialists." This lack of regard for the health impacts to the neighbors, their livestock and crops should be the real concern and not the false fear that is being spread about the District Court's cease and desist order being a danger to other existing agricultural uses. Public health and public interest are the real concerns, including the impact to existing agricultural uses in the area. The Delta County Master Plan correctly states, "The right to develop and improve private property does not constitute the right to physically damage or adversely impact the property ... or neighboring landowners."