Legal action over proposed Minnehaha County fertilizer plant - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Legal action over proposed Minnehaha County fertilizer plant

Posted: Updated:

Many of us saw those pictures of what happened in Texas.

The Minnehaha County commissioners approved a fertilizer plant to be built in Colton. It begs the question 'could a tragedy like that strike here?'

Well, one Colton homeowner filed a lawsuit against the county to make sure it doesn't.

A Colton homeowner sued Minnehaha County to stop a fertilizer plant disaster from happening in his own backyard.

Attorney Rick Ramstad said "we really haven't had an opportunity to digest if this case means something to our case other than it illustrates some of the concerns that we were attempting to address before the lawsuit got started."

Ramstad's client sued the county over safety concerns and the possible dangers of having a fertilizer plant in his neighborhood.

"I think that it illustrates the great proximity because we're in a rural area here. My clients have close neighbors, a day care, a church right in their neighborhood, but it's largely a rural area," Ramstad said.

Augustana College chemistry department chair Dr. Barrett Eichler tells us they may have reason to worry.

"With anhydrous ammonia, there are certain concerns, it doesn't have to explode to be dangerous. it's actually fairly dangerous just to breathe it in, but never-the-less it can explode. ammonium nitrate can also be a problem," Eichler said.

And although there is concern, anhydrous ammonia has helped to fuel the ag industry.

"To be able to feed everyone while South Dakota is certainly is known as a food belt, it's critical to be able to use anhydrous ammonia here," Eichler said.

Besides the concern for danger, Eichler said using these chemicals comes with responsibility.

"I think it would be good for them to self police but ultimately it really does come down to the government fines and a lot of regulation are the deterrent to keep these more safe than what we saw in Texas," Eichler said.

We reached out to the county for reaction. County commissioner Jeff Barth says he can't comment on the case because of the lawsuit.

We also contacted Eastern Farmers Co-op.

It's behind building the fertilizer plant in Colton.

They didn't have anyone available to go on camera for comment.

  • National park visits will be more expensive this year

    National park visits will be more expensive this year

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:01 AM EDT2014-04-17 04:01:04 GMT
    CUSTER, S.D. (AP) - Visitors will have to pay more to tour the two National Park Service caves in the Black Hills starting April 30.    The service on Wednesday announced fee increases for tours at JewelMore >>
    Park Superintendent Vidal Davila says the fees fund facility upgrades. He says the increases were discussed at public meetings.More >>
  • Wastewater lagoons bring bad odor to Brandon this spring

    Wastewater lagoons bring bad odor to Brandon this spring

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:48:46 GMT
    For the past two weeks, many people in Brandon have noticed a not-so-pleasant odor. The bad odor is coming from the city's waste water lagoons. The smell has been around since the lagoons were built inMore >>
    The bad odor is coming from the city's waste water lagoons. The smell has been around since the lagoons were built in the 1980s, but the city's recent growth has made the odor much more noticeable.More >>
  • STD rates spike in Minnesota

    STD rates spike in Minnesota

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:16 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:16:54 GMT
    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - State health officials are concerned that Minnesotans aren't getting the message about safe sex and about testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.    The MinnesotaMore >>
    Increases were much higher for some diseases, with syphilis up 64 percent and gonorrhea up 26 percent.More >>
  • Neighbors react to southwest Sioux Falls murder

    Neighbors react to southwest Sioux Falls murder

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:00 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:00:54 GMT
    Sioux falls has seen its second murder of 2014 and again, the victim is a woman in her 50's. It happened in a home on the 5600 block of Misty Glen Place  in southwest Sioux Falls. Neighbors were surprisedMore >>
    Sioux falls has seen its second murder of 2014 and again, the victim is a woman in her 50's.More >>
  • Keystone XL Pipeline remains a divisive issue

    Keystone XL Pipeline remains a divisive issue

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:53 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:53:07 GMT
    Former President Jimmy Carter joined a group of fellow Nobel Peace Laureates Wednesday in stating his opposition to TransCanda's Keystone XL Pipeline. If approved, it would carry oil from Canada, throughMore >>
    The potential environmental impact isn't the only issue pipeline opponents have raised. One widespread belief is it will have little to no domestic benefit. Howard says that is not true.More >>
  • New cane ball courts diversifying Huron

    New cane ball courts diversifying Huron

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:58 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:58:27 GMT
    Cane ball, a game similar to volleyball and soccer, is growing popular in the city of Huron, and a group of students are doing something about it. Middle schoolers, originally from Thailand and Burma,More >>
    Cane ball, a game similar to volleyball and soccer, is growing popular in the city of Huron, and a group of students are doing something about it. Middle schoolers, originally from Thailand and Burma, are so in love with the game, for their Destination Imagination (D.I.) project they petitioned to get some courts set up in town.More >>
  • Sioux Falls swimmers anticipate indoor aquatic center

    Sioux Falls swimmers anticipate indoor aquatic center

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:37 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:37:40 GMT
    Sioux Falls swimmers could see a new indoor pool open at Spellerberg park in the next two years.That's just east of the VA in central Sioux Falls.KSFY News spoke to people who love taking to the water.More >>
    Sioux Falls swimmers could see a new indoor pool open at Spellerberg park in the next two years.That's just east of the VA in central Sioux Falls.KSFY News spoke to people who love taking to the water.More >>
  • Two puppies stolen from Ed's Pet World

    Two puppies stolen from Ed's Pet World

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:25 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:25:37 GMT
    "What kind of person would come in and steal puppies?" Ed Anderson, owner of Ed's Pet World in Mitchell, is trying to find out. He came to work yesterday morning to find his cash register destroyed, merchandiseMore >>
    "What kind of person would come in and steal puppies?" Ed Anderson, owner of Ed's Pet World in Mitchell, is trying to find out.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.