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      Hog farm causes stink in McDonough County

      South Morgan Acres was approved to start construction on its hog confinement.

      UPDATED: July 19 at 7:20 a.m.

      A judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by the proposed large-scale hog operation South Morgan Acres, against the Blandinsville Township.

      Last month, the township set a weight limit of 20 tons on the road leading to the site in northeast McDonough County.

      The lawsuit alleged the operation suffered a financial loss of at least $230,000 since that time.


      ORIGINAL STORY: June 1

      Barbara Adams spends a lot of her time in her scenic backyard, but she thinks that could all change by next year.

      "In the summer time we have prevailing south winds so I don't think our yard is going to because of the smell," Adams said.

      The Illinois Department of Agriculture approved plans for South Morgan Acres to build a hog confinement, right across the road from Adams' house and only about a mile away from another hog confinement.

      "When I called and the 'Department of Ag' had approved it, I was just sick to my stomach," Adams said.

      And that's not just because of the smell. Adams is also worried about what health hazards the the confinement housing 3,500 hogs will cause.

      "It will be built right over the beginning of the La Moine River and we're kind of worried about contamination," Barbara Adams said. "A lot of our neighbors have shallow wells only 18 feet deep, their pits are 10 feet deep so we think that's a possible source of contamination."

      That's something South Morgan Acres officials say they're aware of and make conscious efforts to lower the risk.

      "The facility is designed for manure containment to be at zero discharge, meaning it's designed to not let anything go until we physically take it out there and apply it to the fields," Dr. Doug Groth one of the hog confinement owners said.

      The facility is also designed to minimize smell.

      "Our facility is designed and located tucked under the trees," Dr. Groth said. "We tried to be covered with natural cover so we think is positive for odor control and management."

      Still Adams is skeptical.

      "It's a big accident waiting to happen," she said.

      South Morgan Acres will begin construction on the hog confinement within the next month and will start utilizing parts of the building by fall.