Yepsen: Solve problem of hog odors

IOWA - The question of how we balance the needs of production agriculture with our need for a clean environment is a difficult one many Iowa politicians avoid.
calendar icon 10 October 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

There aren't easy or simple answers. Most make someone mad. No one wants to look like they're against the environment - or farmers. So, little gets done. After years of haggling, one flashpoint issue - hog odor - still divides rural Iowans.

The question has been in the news lately as Gov. Tom Vilsack's administration, led by Jeff Vonk, the director of the Department of Natural Resources, seeks to apply the regulatory screws to limit the proliferation of hog confinements around the state. The Vilsackers are asserting they have authority to halt construction of ones they don't like.

It's easy to cheer them on. These facilities can stink, and they can put water supplies at risk when lagoons break or operators improperly spread the manure around as fertilizer. Trouble is, there may not be legal authority for Vonk to act. The question is likely to wind up in the courts unless the next governor tries a different route.

Source: Des Moines Register

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.