In a news release from Iowa CCI:
Today, members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) are celebrating after three Hardin County supervisors voted unanimously to appeal an Iowa Select factory farm that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approved. This means the factory farm will have another public hearing before the Environmental Protection Commission, which oversees the DNR.
Members were alerted to Iowa Select’s proposed expansion in late November. The existing confinement, at 2,490 head, met the state’s bare minimum separation distance requirements from a residence for a medium operation. With Iowa Select’s proposal to expand the facility to 5,000 head, the factory farm would be under the state’s minimum separation distance from a residence for a large operation.
After hearing objections from community members and the nearby residents, the Hardin County supervisors voted to recommend denial of Iowa Select’s construction permit. Despite this, and the fact that the facility would be under the legally required 1,875 feet from a residence, the DNR approved the factory farm anyway.
The Hardin county supervisors voted today to dispute the DNR’s blatant disregard for their community and interpretation of Iowa Code.
In addition to Hardin County’s appeal, Humboldt County also appealed the DNR’s approval of an Iowa Select factory farm earlier this month. In the Fort Dodge Messenger, Board of Adjustment member Louis Fallesen was quoted as saying, “Even if we appeal it and lose the appeal we still have done something to try and protect the people there.”
In the last two months of 2017, Iowa Select applied for 20 new or expanding factory farms, which is an addition of nearly 90,000 more hogs and millions more gallons of manure. Fifteen sites were permitted (meaning they underwent a Master Matrix review), and five of them were just under the permit threshold. These sites are located in Hamilton, Webster, Wright, Humboldt, Franklin, Palo Alto, Hardin, Dallas, and Bremer counties.
Iowa CCI members have also called on the DNR to investigate Iowa Select’s manure application records. All Iowa Select applications – permitted and unpermitted – are wean-to-finish confinements that Iowa Select estimates will produce .7 gallons of manure per pig per day. However, Iowa State University data shows an average of .9 gallons of manure per pig per day in their studies of wean-to-finish confinements. For just one 5,000-head confinement, this is a difference of 365,000 more gallons of manure per year. DNR says they accepted Iowa Select’s estimate years ago, but have not gone through Iowa Select’s previous application records to verify the accuracy of this number.