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CROTON, Ohio (AP) _ The owner of a huge egg farm _ battered over fly infestations, foul odors and polluted creeks _ gave up control of its day-to-day operations a month after the state began revoking its permits.

Buckeye Egg Farm owner Anton Pohlmann was trying to find a buyer for the company, which produces 4 percent of the nation's eggs _ 2.6 billion last year, state records show.

Neighbors of the farm's sites in Hardin, Licking and Wyandot counties have complained about the nuisances caused by manure from the 15.5 million hens, and last month, the state began revoking the company's operating permits. The company has until May 22 to appeal.

New management will not affect the case, the attorney general's office said. ``We're due in court Monday,'' spokeswoman Stephanie Beougher said.

An agriculture management company, Compliance Consulting Associates LLC, said Thursday it will run the farm until the sale. The plan marked a reversal for Pohlmann, who had said he planned to keep the farm.

``We are confident that this team of seasoned environmental and agricultural professionals can guide the company toward workable plans with the state of Ohio that will protect the environment,'' the company said in a statement.

Buckeye Egg has faced several pollution complaints. A judge fined the farm $50,000 in April, saying that it was responsible for a large fly outbreak last fall and that it discharged wash water into streams.

In March 2001, the farm agreed to pay $1 million to the state and upgrade operations to settle a lawsuit accusing it of dumping dead chickens in a field, polluting creeks and causing fly and bug infestations.


On the Net:

Ohio Environmental Agency: http://www.epa.state.oh.us/

Attorney General's Office: http://www.ag.state.oh.us/