- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

BUFFALO, N.D. (AP) - Opponents of a proposed 9,000-hog operation near the southeastern North Dakota town of Buffalo packed a public hearing to tell the Minnesota company planning the project to go elsewhere.

Pipestone Holdings LLC is planning the $15 million Rolling Green Family Farms hog facility. It needs a permit from North Dakota’s Health Department, and agency officials held a hearing on Thursday at the Buffalo Community Center, KFGO radio and WDAY-TV reported.

Many of the town’s 200 residents worry about potential soil, water and air pollution. They also object to a large corporate farm in the area.

“Our research shows these types of operations put the small family farm out of business,” said Liane Stout with the opposition group Concerned Citizens of Buffalo. “We would much rather see 10 farmers raising 900 pigs than an out-of-state corporation raising 9,000 pigs. They displace the local farmers.”

Pipestone Holdings maintains the operation will be safe for the environment, and will create jobs and boost the local economy. Vice president Sean Simpson acknowledged during the hearing that the hog farm would smell at times but added, “So do feedlots. So do manure pits. It’s just a fact of life when you’re in the country.”

The public comment period ends Saturday. State health officials will make a decision on a permit within three months.

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