The number and size of dairies have increased over the years. Unfortunately, some situations they cause have gotten worse and are overlooked. It does not surprise me that the Merced County Planning Commission approved the expansion permit for a dairy in Hilmar (County sued over dairy plan approval, Jan. 20, Page A1). They seem to have a good ol boy mentality when it pertains to dairies. Supervisor John Pedrozo, who represents District 1, supports dairies 110 percent.
To the group in Turlock and Hilmar, I wish you well in your endeavors against Merced County. That may be the next step Planada needs to take. It is not a crime to have a dairy, but it is a crime to pollute the air, water or soil.
In February 2013, a group of citizens, including myself, addressed the Planning Commission about the Hillcrest Dairy being out of compliance. Our pleas were ignored and Hillcrests permit request was granted. Planada, with a population of a little over 4,000, now has to endure the odor of 8,000 cows. If dairies are highly regulated, then Merced County is failing to do its part.