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Holdner request to dismiss pollution charges denied

Oregon Circuit Court Judge Douglas Beckman on July 19 denied an 85-year-old farmer's request to dismiss criminal water pollution charges against him resulting from his operation of a 102-acre farm on Dutch Canyon Road.

A grand jury in May 2010 indicted William Holdner of Scappoose on three felony and 25 misdemeanor water pollution charges. Holdner had filed for a dismissal of the case, which is the result of an Oregon Department of Justice investigation into his cattle farm amid Oregon Department of Agriculture claims the farm operates as a confined animal feedlot, or CAFO, and discharges pollutants to South Scappoose Creek.

Holdner pleaded not guilty to the charges and is representing himself in the criminal case. He has an associated case pending federal court where he is challenging the state's authority to regulate his farm more stringently than outlined in federal law, and he recently lost an Oregon Court of Appeals decision that requires him to pay civil penalties for operating a CAFO and not paying the requisite fees.

There are no pending hearings scheduled in the criminal case.