The Bon Homme County Commission stalled an effort Tuesday to tighten regulation of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). With the pressure on from neighbors and farmers who want some additional protection from the environmental hazards of CAFOs and the Mickelsonian operators who want no more government interference in their sacred right to raise a stink, the commission punted:
The small commission room was packed with nearly two dozen visitors. Another estimated 50 people stood in the hallway listening to discussion and waiting for results.
In the end, the commissioners tabled action on a proposal to require operations of at least 500 animal units to seek a conditional-use permit. Currently, the county zoning ordinance places the threshold at 1,000 animal units to match state law.
…The County Commission sent the issue back to the Planning and Zoning Board, which had proposed the stricter limit of 500 animal units. In addition, the zoning board will solicit input from both livestock producers and those concerned about such operations [Randy Dockendorf, “CAFO Action Tabled,” Yankton Press & Dakotan, 2016.05.03].
CAFO proponents fret that reducing the animal units requiring a permit from 1,000 to 500 would “cripple” farming in Bon Homme County:
Rothschadl said the proposed Bon Homme County zoning restrictions would cripple farming and, in turn, the surrounding communities. “This is the lifeblood of the economy,” he said.
In addition, the 28-year-old Rothschadl said tighter rules would put into jeopardy the farming prospects for future generations. “What does this mean for my kids and others if they want to come back (and farm)?” he asked [Dockendorf, 2016.05.03].
What it means, Mr. Rothschadl, is that you’d just have to go to the courthouse, apply for a permit, and demonstrate that you can keep your CAFO from polluting the surrounding land, water, and air. Is that really so much to ask?