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.

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.