Barry Haas reports from the meeting of the state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission that it has granted a stay that will allow continued operation of the C and H hog farm at Mount Judea while it appeals denial of a new permit for the factory hog feeding operation.

The Commission said the farm must file its appeal no later than Feb. 10. If that deadline is met, the stay will remain in place. The vote was unanimous, with the exception of recusals by Gary Wheeler and Robert Reynolds.

The Department of Environmental Quality denied the permit last week. The lawyer for the farm argued that it had submitted everything required by the department. The Buffalo Watershed Alliance argued this week that a stay shouldn’t be granted.  The permit expired more than a year ago and an appeal could last months or years. It argued for a phase-out of the operation and, failing that, posting of a substantial bond by the farm to cover potential hog waste pollution in the interim. The commission required no bond, however. Apparently the commission believed such a requirement was outside its power.