LONE JACK, Mo. – Valley Oaks Steak Co.’s plan to expand its operations has been put on hold in Lone Jack, Missouri, after the state’s Administrative Hearing Commission granted a stay last week.

The stay says that Valley Oaks invested around $20 million into the expansion project already and expects another $10 million to complete the other concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) buildings.

On June 15, The Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources issued a permit for Valley Oaks Steak Co. to increase the number of cattle it can maintain to 6,999 in its animal feedlot operation. The current limit is 999 head of cattle. In the stay, Valley Oaks also stated that it plans on adding 2,600 head of cattle by the end of 2018. The company is already in a five-year, $55 million contract with Scavuzzo’s Food Delivery Service in Kansas.

Missouri DNR granted a Class IB NPDES permit to Valley Oaks Steak at the Lone Jack facility, which makes it subject to concentrated animal feeding operations regulations and permit requirements. The government agency also said that their staff reviewed the application for completeness and compliance with the Missouri Clean Water Law and the Missouri Clean Water Commission regulations.

According to the stay, Powell Gardens Inc., Ryan and Elizabeth Deich, and the Robert M. Chamness Trust filed a complaint on June 27 appealing the same permit.

Next on July 3, Valley Oaks filed a motion to intervene in both cases which were granted. During a hearing on July 9, the commission held a combined hearing to discuss their decision with all parties concerned.

Valley Oaks claims that 47 employees could be laid off if the stay remains. The company also said that “costs for debt services and utilities will not cease” with the stay.

In June, Valley Oaks expected the expansion to create more than 50 jobs. According to its permit request, Valley Oaks Steaks plans to blend the feedlot’s manure with wood chips and store it in a warehouse to be processed into fertilizer.

Powell Gardens, a botanical garden nearby, claimed in their appeal that they opposed expansion because of possible odor, water quality and plant-harming parasites that could linger from the expanded livestock facility. There are also about 800 homes within three miles of the feedlot.