Friday, May 13, 2016
Ind. Gov't. - "Hog farm discussion draws crowd at Miami County Plan Commission meeting"
Following on the ILB post from earlier today, "White County CAFO Rule Would Join Patchwork Of Regulations," Indiana Economic Digest has reprinted two stories on the impact of hog farms in Miami County.
The first story, from the Peru Tribune, reported by Dan Herda, begins on an entirely different note than the White County story:
The Miami County Plan Commission’s Wednesday meeting was relocated to Circuit Court after more than 100 people showed up to speak to the Board about their positions on either changing the ordinances related to hog barns or keeping them the same.The second, very long story, by Carson Gerber of the Kokomo Tribune, is headed "Miami County grower worries new hog barns will hurt his produce business."
Circuit Court’s seats were filled row to row, as was the area behind the seating from the back row to the doors, with dozens of people also in the left and right aisles standing wall to wall.
Board Attorney Pat Roberts spoke to the large gathering several times during the meeting, saying “we have it looks like more than 100 people here” and also said the argument residents had regarding the idea that the hog farms are contaminating the water should be taken up with Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
“I am not saying you are right or wrong, but you have to address it to them to get the enforcement of their own rules, regulations, statutes,” Roberts said.
Roberts said the Board of Commissioners and Plan Commission cannot get involved with an argument with the state and suggested that concerned parties should sign their names on a petition and send it to IDEM.
“I suspect that a lot of people feel like they are in danger by some complaint that has been made, but it is not on the agenda tonight,” Roberts said. “We can’t start something here unless it is proposed. For all of you here, you can always come back and bring it before these folks, but not tonight. In all fairness, with all of you folks here, somebody has told somebody something and I don’t know why everybody came tonight because it was not on the agenda.”
Roberts further said that the Commission cannot change county ordinances or regulations on hog barns because of a complaint by one or more residents. He added that some people in the crowd had attended to make sure that hog farming does not change.
“I assume some of you are here to make sure that hog farming stays the way it has always been and the gentleman over here is saying that it is a nuisance to him,” Roberts said.