Nearly two and a half years ago the GUARDIAN published a CHEESY STORY about an impending noisy, smelly new whey tower that would have caused Little Miss Muffet to fall off her tuffet. Here’s what a nearby frustrated neighbor has to say about the noise at Sorrento Lactalis’ cheese plant.
By TOM FLANARY
Eight and a half years ago I moved back to Idaho and purchased a small acreage in Canyon County. I convinced my wife of 4 years to move here based upon my fond memories of living here in the late seventies and early eighties. It is likely the decision I regret the most in my life.
A couple of months ago the Sorrento Lacatalis operation near Nampa completed their new whey tower and began operations. That operation generates an unbelievable amount of noise from 130 feet in the air ( a broadcast if you will), to the extent that our house is at many times or even all day ( 24 hours) unlivable as there is no escape from the humming sound anywhere in the house, being outside is impossible. This noise has rendered our home unlivable and a living nightmare as the walls and vents all resonate and hum.
On November 1st we began to try to get something done about it. We first contacted Sorrento, their representative told us that “ we employ 600 people and support the dairy industry, implying that our issue was not important”.
We contacted the Nampa mayor’s office, who referred us to the Nampa police, who referred us to the Canyon County Sheriff who referred us to the Canyon County Code Enforcement. Here it stopped. Code Enforcement did not respond to e-mails or to phone messages, to this date we still have not spoken to a single person at Code Enforcement.
At this point, we contacted one of the Canyon County Commissioners, the indication from the e-mails was that there had been numerous other complaints. Numerous contacts result in the blame and resolution being put to the Idaho DEQ. Contact with the DEQ resulted in them claiming it was up to the County. Additionally the EPA and the Governor’s office was contacted with the same result, they were unable to do anything about it, it was up to the County.
During this time Sorrento made contact with us and indicated that there had been many other complaints and that there were going to attempt to do something about it. One key point here, they were going to do something about it, however they were continuing to operate this tower in the meantime even though they were well aware of the toll it was taking on people’s lives.
It is obvious that no one here really cares about our plight in this matter (we contacted all of the media as well) and the people we pay to protect us from this type of pain and suffering and to protect us are unwilling to take any action to stop it. It appears that in Canyon County and Idaho the individual no longer has any rights to the private and peaceful enjoyment of their property.
A business can just come along, tell the City of Nampa that it wouldn’t be a good idea to approve a subdivision near the factory as the new whey tower will be much noisier than in the past and then turn around when seeking approval for the whey tower tell the County that noise will not be an issue.
We are contemplating abandoning our home to save our health and sanity since it certainly isn’t salable, obviously the warm and fuzzy feeling about the Treasure Valley and the State of Idaho is gone. This may be just an early sign of what happens in a one party oligarchy, Idaho has become the “ Right to Harm” state.
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