Tonopah Locals Decry Expansion Of Large-Scale Egg Farm

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 7:57am
Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 11:50am
Casey Kuhn/KJZZ
The sign outside of Hickmans Family Farms in Buckeye, Arizona.

Community members came to a public hearing Tuesday night in opposition of expanding a Hickman Family Farm operation.

Maricopa County Air Quality Department elected to hold a public hearing on permits for more emergency generators and boilers at Hickmans Egg Ranch in Tonopah.

Air Quality director Philip McNeely says he knew there would be a request for the hearing, so he proactively scheduled it.

“We’ll continue working with the community and continue to respond to their request," he said. "Hopefully this can get resolved at some point.” Since the farm-- which houses about 3 million chickens-- began production in 2014, locals have expressed worries about long-term health effects and lowering property values.

Arlington resident Steven Love says he’s worried Tonopah residents will see more problems if Hickman expands but isn’t blaming the company.

“He’s simply taking advantage of the weak laws we have on the books and also the corruption that we have in our government,” Love said of Clint Hickman, part owner of Hickman Family Farms, who is also a Maricopa County board supervisor. Hickman has recused himself from company-related issues before the board.

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