Corcoran dairy farmers concerned about future amid Curtimade Dairy case

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An ongoing legal battle between the city of Corcoran against the long time Curtimade Dairy has several dairy farmers concerned about their future.

The city plans to sue the dairy for $65 million over allegations that their operations contaminated the city's drinking water wells with nitrates, which could be harmful if consumed.

Several dairy farmers spoke against the lawsuit during Tuesday's city council meeting, including Tessa Hall, the owner of Curtimade Dairy.

"Our dairy is in compliance with all these regulatory laws, and we have been, and that this city has given us the latest drinking water standards are in compliance on the three wells they're claiming damages for," Hall said.

"Any business does business next to a municipality, whether dairy, could be viewed as a target of lawful extortion," says Western united Dairies CEO Anja Raudabaugh.

Farmers are urging to the city to look at other avenues, like seeking grant money to help clean up the drinking water.

The council discussed the lawsuit in closed session, and the city manager declined to comment.

However, the city did release a statement on Monday saying, "The cost of the contamination should not be the responsibility of the taxpayer."

Hall extended an invite to the city to tour the facility in hopes that they see that the dairy is in compliance, adding that the lawsuit would put her family out of business.

"We're going to fight it and the history of agriculture and everything that's been built here," Hall said.
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