A working group’s in the midst of a long process that’ll come up with a checklist for appraising sites where a livestock confinement might be built. The D-N-R’s Robin Pruisner says it’s an outgrowth of the “siting bill” lawmakers enacted in the spring. She says the new system will awards “points” to proposed confinement facilities, more to those that go beyond standards set in the bill. Pruisner’s a member of the working group and says one rule will be that counties choosing to use the checklist must apply it to every confinement application they receive.County officials can’t pick and choose who they’ll apply it to, and she suggests an “open enrollment period” each year during which counties can sign up to use the checklist. An interim checklist, called a “matrix,” was laid out in the legislation that created this working group and the members must come up with its own draft matrix by September. Starting March 2003, a final “master matrix” must be ready to use. After hearing from experts on feedlot construction, water quality and the latest in livestock science, the group will spend today working on standards that’ll be used to evaluate applications. The group has at least eight more meetings scheduled. Members represent the Farm Bureau and Farmer’s Union, the DNR and ISU, as well as livestock farmers.
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