Panhandle dairy project terminated at public meeting - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Panhandle dairy project terminated at public meeting

The Mayor of Panhandle thanks the Bowers family for rescinding the permit for their dairy farm, cancelling the project / Source: KFDA The Mayor of Panhandle thanks the Bowers family for rescinding the permit for their dairy farm, cancelling the project / Source: KFDA
Panhandle residents attend a meeting Tuesday hosted by TCEQ regarding the dairy project / Source: KFDA Panhandle residents attend a meeting Tuesday hosted by TCEQ regarding the dairy project / Source: KFDA
These fliers were passed out to residents as they walked in to the meeting / Source: KFDA These fliers were passed out to residents as they walked in to the meeting / Source: KFDA
PANHANDLE, TX (KFDA) -

A controversial proposal to bring a dairy farm to Carson County was terminated Tuesday evening in Panhandle.

It was a turn of events hundreds of panhandle residents never saw coming.

They gathered this evening at Panhandle High School to protest the proposed dairy farm.

But before they had the chance to comment, the project permit was rescinded right in front of them.

"At this time we will be presenting a letter to the [Texas Commission on Environmental Quality] requesting that the permit application for the proposed dairy be withdrawn," said Chandler Bowers, Partner of Bowers Land & Cattle Family Limited Partnership.

Hundreds of panhandle residents were stunned and relieved, and jumped to their feet, clapping and cheering after hearing the Bowers family halt their dairy project before it started.

The vast majority of the community was strongly against building a dairy a few miles outside town.

"The city was against it because we had concerns of water and air quality and things like that for our residents coming in" said Terry Coffee, Panhandle City Manager. "We're building a retirement center on that side of town, we have a Montessori school on that side of town and we felt like they might be affected also."

These concerns remained even with assurance from the TCEQ there was nothing to worry about.

The TCEQ hosted Tuesday's meeting to answer questions about the project, not expecting to see it end.

"Quite a remarkable turn of events," said David Galindo, Director of the Water Quality Division for TCEQ. "Usually that doesn't happen. Applications get withdrawn, but this is the first time I've seen it happen in a public meeting."

The people against the project, armed with fliers that read "NO," ready to protest, ended up instead professing 'thank yous' and sighs of reliefs to the bowers family, who felt ending the project was the right thing to do.

"We as farmers and ranchers have a lot of work to do in the future to promote and educate the public as to where their food and fiber comes from," said Bowers. "But we're not about dividing a community either. So it felt, in the last few days, [that] it was time."

The Bowers family can re-submit a permit project to TCEQ if they want, but Bowers said there are no plans right now to try again with the dairy farm in a different part of Carson County.

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