A group of 12 farm and business organizations have petitioned the D-N-R to do a study to determine if there should be air quality standards set for livestock confinement facilities. The Iowa Legislature voted during its regular session to nullify Environmental Protection Commission air quality standards after some argued the rules went too far. Michael Triplett of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry says the air study would follow what’s called for in state law. He says the study would gauge the exact level of pollutants to come out of the facilities and allow state officials to make a better determination on what levels should be the standard for allowable ambient air levels in the state. Triplett says the first time through state officials didn’t allow enough input in developing the rules.He says they hope to be involved this time, as he says the standards that were nullified were put together without any industry input on the level of the standards. He says they hope with input from “credible scientific sources” to get standards that’re better for industry and the public. He says the study would take three years.He says when federal officials do such studies, they take ten years, so three years is not a long time to take to get a handle on the problem. Triplett says the E-P-C still has to act on the petition for the study. He says the issue usually gets forwarded onto the commission and is put on the agenda within 60 days — so it should be on the E-P-C’s July meeting agenda. The petition was submitted to the Iowa DNR on behalf of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa; Iowa Association of Business and Industry; Iowa Cattlemen’s Association; Iowa Corn Growers Association; IowaFarm Bureau Federation; Iowa Institute for Cooperatives; Iowa League of Cities; Iowa Pork Producers Association; Iowa Poultry Association; Iowa Soybean Association; Iowa State Dairy Association; and Iowa TurkeyFederation.
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