The Oregon Department of Agriculture is seeking public input by July 19th, concerning how to best clean up a massive former dairy near Boardman.

   Dairy was previously cited for over 200 violations

Just over six years ago Lost Valley Farms closed the dairy, and now the current owner has applied for what's called decommission of a CAFO, or Confined Animal Feeding Operation at the site.

In 2017, Lost Valley closed the dairy, which housed thousands of cows, after numerous violations were cited by ODA. There were at least 200 violations.

Then shortly afterward Lost Valley was granted a CAFO to house some 30,000 animals, but began operations before construction was completely finished and before they had finished a waste management plan.

Within a year, violations again began to be issued, as the site was plagued with overflowing manure lagoons and what ODA said was leaking waste storage. The fines totaled at least $187,000. Soon afterward, Lost Valley filed for bankruptcy.

Following a short stint of ownership by Easterday Farms, the area was bought by Canoyn Farms in 2023, and now they have asked the ODA to officially decommission the site as a CAFO. That means they'd remove all infrastructure related to animal boarding and feeding. That has since been done.

However, ODA still is mandating some cleanup including bringing nitrate levels from several test wells back below normal levels. Environmental groups say the dairy sat atop a large groundwater area that supplies surrounding areas.

They say the elevated nitrates are likely from manure from the 30 years the dairy operated there.

Now, ODA is seeking public comments on how to mitigate the situation and continue cleanup.  For more information on how to comment, click here.

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