State to shut down smelly dairy farm

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says it will close down a dairy farm near Thief River Falls, after repeated complaints of air pollution that drove neighbors away from their homes.

The MPCA has been trying to get Excel Dairy to follow state pollution regulations for nearly three years. The odor from hydrogen sulfide gases from its manure ponds was so bad, the state Health Department warned neighbors to stay inside or leave the area.

The dairy claims it has been working on the problem, but now the MPCA says it will not re-issue a permit the dairy needs to operate.

The final decision will come after a 30-day public comment period.

The agency's decision comes just as a committee of the state Legislature is holding a hearing about the problem.

The company that owns Excel Dairy owns several other dairy farms in the state, most of which have had pollution problems too.

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