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DNR looks to slow livestock facilities

by 5m Editor
1 May 2006, at 12:00am

IOWA - Livestock confinement construction in Iowa is headed for a fourth straight record year, and state regulators are considering a new attack on pollution from those operations.

The debate focuses on Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Jeff Vonk's campaign to consider more factors before approving permits, including whether the manure would be spread on leaky soils, which could threaten waterways.

Farmers say tougher regulations are unneeded and say the state is making a power grab. Environmentalists favor the move as a way to reduce pollution in a state where waters are heavily polluted by agricultural runoff.

The debate is important because the hog business, which accounts for most of the permits, is a $12 billion industry accounting for 63,000 jobs in Iowa. The issue affects urban-dwellers and rural residents alike because confinement construction is pushing closer to the Iowa Great Lakes and the state's most populated counties.

Source: The Des Moines Register

5m Editor