There is an ongoing issue between inhabitants of Thief River Falls, MN and Excel Dairy, which has a dairy farm in the town. Citizens of the surrounding area claim that there is an odor coming from the dairy farm due to high levels of hydrogen sulfide, presumably from manure tanks that are on the dairy's property. State health officials say a dairy farm near Thief River Falls continues to pose a public health hazard. State law holds that hydrogen sulfide levels must remain below 30 parts per billion outside Excel property. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency monitoring equipment is capable of detecting up to 90 parts per billion, and levels in the area have exceeded that on many occasions.

Area residents have complained of offensive odor as well as developing health issues. Mona Loe, who lives just 300 yards from Excel Dairy, has complained of a rotten egg smell, headaches, breathing problems, and fatigue. Loe was quoted by Minnesota public radio saying “[p]ersonally, I cannot be out in it, because I get nauseous very quickly with it,” She continued saying “[t]he hydrogen sulfide is a neurotoxin, and we may not see what it’s doing for 10 years. And that’s really scary.”

Officials with the Minnesota Department of Health say they’re closely watching air quality emissions data collected from two monitors near the dairy site. At one point last year, health officials advised people living nearby to evacuate their homes because of high hydrogen sulfide levels.

On Friday, June 20, 2008, Attorney General Lori Swanson and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency jointly filed a lawsuit in Marshall County District Court against Excel Dairy seeking to have the dairy immediately comply with applicable environmental protection laws, comply with the terms of its permit, and to abate its activities which constitute a public nuisance.

We will keeping an eye on this story for developments. While I do not currently represent anyone at this site, I do represent hundreds of similarly situated people around the country in various landfill and environmental litigation.

To find out if The Simon Law Firm can help with an environmental lawsuit, contact Todd Hageman.