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Sunday, October 4, 2009

If You Give Rick Millner a Cookie...

...he'll keep crapping all over you.

Last January the State of Minnesota shut down the Thief River Falls Excel Dairy, owned by Veblen, SD, dairy entrepreneur Rick Millner and the Dairy Dozen. The reason: stink-bombing the county so badly that neighbors had to evacuate their homes. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency graced the recalcitrant and litigious Dairy Dozen with a restricted one-year permit to get the Excel Dairy's act together.

So, a business violates the law, intrudes on other citizens' property rights without compensation, and the state gives them another year to clean up their act. What does the state get?

Between Aug. 29 and Sept. 21, the facility surpassed the state limit for hydrogen sulfide emissions of 30 parts per billion on 10 occasions, according to Gaylen Reetz, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency regional director. The highest reading during that period was 46, or more than 50 percent higher than the legal limit [Kevin Bonham, "State Finds TRF Dairy in Violation—Again," Grand Forks Herald, 2009.09.29].

Rick Millner and Excel Dairy have a legal permit. They have legal conditions. They have obligations to fellow citizens to run a clean operation. Instead, they take advantage of the state's generosity and repeatedly break the law. They continue to demonstrate they cannot effectively manage their own manure and conduct business within the law.

South Dakota should be embarrassed to have any connection with businessmen like these. The State of Minnesota should shut down Excel Dairy for good, and the law-breaking owners should get fines and jail.

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