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County supervisors reluctantly approve site plan for expansion of hog confinement operation

Posted: Mon, Jun 4, 2018 11:34 AM
(Map courtesy of Beacon software)

Winneshiek County supervisors on Monday again weighed in on their unhappiness with the State of Iowa's Master Matrix for confined animal feeding operations.

An application from D & G Hogs to expand its current operation at 3717 228th Avenue in Burr Oak Township will be forwarded to the Iowa DNR following Monday's public hearing.  But supervisors John Beard, Floyd Ashbacher and John Logsdon weighed in first on the reasons they'd like counties to have more local control over the process.

Logsdon said the current livestock situation in Iowa "is getting out of hand."  He said the Master Matrix has been designed so that everyone who uses it can receive approval, noting the system is so easy "a dog could fill it out."

Beard told his fellow supervisors "We need to keep voicing our concerns."  He pointed to a resolution drafted by the Winneshiek County Board last year which now has 21 other county boards signing it.  The resolution calls for greater local input to the process.

Supervisors heard comments from the public before casting their votes.  Glenwood Township resident Steve McCargar told supervisors "CAFOs are inherently toxic" and compared Iowa's current situation to a frog in a pot of water that is gradually being heated.  Decorah resident George Hagen agreed, saying, "This is a very hazardous situation."

The new facility, which will be owned by Brad and Judy Herman of Waukon, will process 9,500 hogs per year, generating 1,260,000 gallons of manure.  County Board Chair Logsdon noted the facility "meets the standards set by the state."