Panel moves to review livestock rules

DES MOINES - A panel of Iowa House members has begun a series of hearings to review whether Iowa's livestock regulations need rewritten.
calendar icon 18 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Rep. Marcie Frevert, D-Emmetsburg, is heading the meetings. She said the public has become more aware of environmental concerns about livestock confinements since the rules were last written in 2002. Lawmakers will be reviewing what is working and what is not from the 2002 laws, she said.

"It becomes an election issue," Frevert said. "Everyone runs on clean air and clean water, even the governor, so we have to see where we can go with this."

Frevert said she hopes the standing subcommittee studying air and water quality issues can zero in on a specific legislative proposal that draws consensus.

Three House Democrats including Frevert filed a bill Tuesday that would allow counties to adopt zoning ordinances for hog confinements and manure storage facilities. The bill would require the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to deny a construction permit for a new confinement if it would violate the local county ordinance.

Frevert has tried for several years to get a local control bill passed for livestock siting. She said it is unfortunate that some residents who have lived somewhere for years suddenly see their property devalued and can't enjoy their backyards anymore when a livestock confinement goes up nearby.

The issue has roiled resort communities, including Clear Lake and Okoboji, when livestock confinement facilities were proposed nearby.

"It's an economic development issue because of tourism dollars," Frevert said.

Source: Sioux City Journal

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