DNR Denies Permit for Hog Confinement in Davis County

I wrote back in September that the winds are changing on the issue of hog confinements after the DNR denied permits to 2 confinements in Dallas County.

Last week, the DNR denied a permit to a hog confinement in Davis County.

From Iowa CCI…

On October 24th, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) denied a 4,960-head hog factory proposal in NW Davis County near Drakesville because, according to the DNR, the permit applications did not meet the minimum legal requirements in the Iowa code. One of the main reasons the DNR denied this proposed hog factory was that it would have been built within the minimum separation distance of 1,875 feet from a neighbor’s residence.

In September, as a result of nearly unanimous public opposition, the Davis County Board of Supervisors recommended that DNR deny this hog factory proposal. The supervisors also challenged the applicant’s master matrix score, the scoring system that large factory farms must pass in order to be allowed to build…

Members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) and other local residents opposed the proposed hog factory for a number of reasons. They challenged the permit application based on the potential for water pollution to nearby wells and water sources and the likelihood of the underground manure storage pit developing cracks and leaking into underground water sources. In addition, several nearby neighbors raised serious health concerns, concerns for loss of property value, decreased quality of life and the damage the factory farm truck traffic would do to the rural roads.

The Board of Supervisors in both Dallas and Davis counties voted against the hog confinements before the permits were sent to the DNR. Unfortunately, the current laws prevent local Board of Supervisors from having any authority on large hog confinements locating in their counties.

Local control would have worked in both cases, yet the current only adds another layer of bureaucracy and limits the voices of local residents.

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  • It should have been denied!

    It was proposed to be inside the legal seperation distance.  The only way it could have been built at the proposed site, is if the neighbors said it was ok.  It looks like the neighbors were against this project so that wasn’t an option.  If it was proposed to be built further away from the house it would have passed.  I doubt that the winds have changed much if at all.

    BTW:  I am a hog farmer, and if you don’t follow the rules I think you should get you permit denied.

  • thank you for posting this

    I realize I forgot to write about how the Dallas County case turned out. The Attorney General’s office ended up negotiating with the Environmental Protection Commission and the applicant for the new hog logs to see if they could agree to a solution. In the end, the EPC voted to grant the permits to the applicant, avoiding a lawsuit. However, the DNR will do much more monitoring upstream and downstream to document the impact these CAFOs will have (if any) on the Raccoon River.

    We need local control (agricultural zoning at the county level), but what is the way forward? Culver is supportive in theory but not willing to take this on, and I see no sign of the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate being willing to move either.