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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - More on "Bill to reduce regulations on livestock operations raising concerns"

Updating this ILB post from Feb. 23rd, Niki Kelly of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported yesterday:

A controversial confined animal feeding bill has hit a wall in the state Senate.

Fort Wayne Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long assigned the measure to the Rules Committee – a place where legislation generally is sent to die.

“It’s where I parked it for now. It may stay there,” he said. “I think it’s just bad legislation.”

Rep. Dave Wolkins, R-Warsaw, authored House Bill 1494 and has called it a streamlining of the regulatory process for factory farms raising hundreds or thousands of animals.

But confusion reigned in committee and on the House floor about what the bill actually does. It just passed the House chamber 66-25.

Opponents argue it limits notice to neighbors for expansions of a confined animal feeding operation, as well as other changes.

“I don’t see the value in that at all,” Long said, noting neighbors deserve notice and the chance to be heard during the permit process.

He referenced a CAFO in Whitley County, saying he has heard from constituents.

Several Whitley County residents testified against Wolkins’ bill and generally support efforts to help neighbors instead of the CAFOs.

The Whitley County Board of Zoning Appeals approved a new operation consisting of 2,200 finishing hogs and 880 animal units after hundreds of people attended a meeting. Brent and Liza Emerick also have a permit pending with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for the operation, according to local news reports.

High-profile Roanoke businessman Pete Eshelman said about 1,000 residents live near the proposed farm, and the state’s one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for more populated areas.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 9, 2017 09:04 AM
Posted to Indiana Government