The state Environmental Protection Commission has approved emergency standards for measuring the emissions of livestock facilities, over the objections of a coalition of ag groups. Iowa Farm Bureau Vice President Craig Hill says the commission is moving too fast.He says the rules are more aggressive and reach further than what the Iowa Legislature called for when it passed the law in April Hill says the commission moved faster than it needed to in setting the standards.He says there are studies that’ve shown the air emissions are below the standards set, and they don’t see the urgency in establishing the rules before the Legislature’s December 2004 deadline. Hill, a farmer from Milo, says the commission hasn’t given the stakeholders a chance to give their input on the rules.He says they want to be able to talk about how to improve air quality without destroying the state’s economy. Hill says they’d like to see exemptions in the rules for operations with less than 500 animals. They’d also like to give property owners the right to waive the emission testing near their property. And he says they want the emissions testing to be done at the nearby residence, not at the property line of a residence and livestock facility. He says in the case of his operation, the neighbor’s home is three thousand feet from the facility, while the property line is one thousand feet. He says the measurements of emissions would be much different at the two distances. Under the rules approved by the Environmental Protection Commission, the livestock facilities would be given points based on how they meet environmental standards. Hill spoke out at the E-P-C meeting Monday for the coalition that includes the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Turkey Federation, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Poultry Association and the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives.
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