Tougher Rules for Large Animal Confinements ?

Apr 20, 2017

The current rules for siting large animal confinements in Iowa are not tough enough. That's according to a group called Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement which will hold the latest in a series of public meetings in Davenport Thursday night.

 Spokeswoman Erica Blair says a set of rules called the Master Matrix was adopted in 2002 to give local residents and county supervisors in Iowa a role in the process. But she believes the rules are too weak and local residents have little or no "say." 

"People have said the separation distances aren't large enough - that would be for instance separation distances between the confinement and a residence or a waterway or something like that."

Her group has already held six meetings in various Iowa counties.

"It's really created so it's really easy for operators to pass the master matrix. They only need 440 out of 880 points so they just need to fail in order to be able to construct a factory farm."

Blair says some changes in the Master Matrix would require approval from the Iowa legislature, but some could be made by the DNR, and she's hoping Citizens for Community Improvement can convince the agency to toughen the rules.

Thursday night's meeting begins at 6:30 at the Unitarian Church in Davenport.