Rep. Mark Mickelson (R-13/Sioux Falls) thinks South Dakota needs more confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). He pushed legislation, HB 1201, that took effect yesterday making it easier for CAFOs to get approval from county commissions. Mickelson’s HB 1201 supports his GOP leadership’s agenda of promoting more big corporate farming. The Minnehaha County Commission just last week approved a 999-head CAFO three miles from Hartford and maybe ten miles from the Big Sioux River.
Meanwhile, Sioux Falls is planning to spend over a million dollars to pay farmers to keep their livestock from pooping in the river while School of Mines researchers study just how much of the E. coli in the Big Sioux is bad for humans. In its latest round of water testing, Dakota Water Watch found E. coli levels exceeding safety standards in the water at four state recreation areas in the Big Sioux watershed: Palisades State Park near Garretson, Big Sioux Rec Area near Brandon, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, and Good Earth State Park near Canton.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Marty Jackley rushes to join other states in suing to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating water pollution in South Dakota. The SDGOP seems to think it can have its water and poop in it, too.