A top official of Iowa’s Farm Bureau today complained that the Department of Natural Resources is moving too fast to create livestock confinement emission standards, a task it’s ordered to do by legislation passed this year. The DNR’s Robin Prusiner says the agency has a mandate.She says there was a groundswell of public support in the last session to do something about air-quality around livestock facilities. Prusiner says critics who want air quality tested at the house, not the fence between barn and house, mis-understand the rule.She says when tests show readings at the house over the threshold, the procedure’s to move toward the fence line to find what the source of the high pollution is, continuing that test and not doing a separate one. She says there are health issues for workers inside the buildings, and questions about how outside weather affects the gases that could affect them outside the buildings, near or far. She says the agency can’t create rules that are un-enforceable because its job is to enforce them, but the legislation “gives marching orders” to get the job done and DNR must also satisfy rules of the federal EPA, a real balancing act. The Farm Bureau’s Craig Hill says the emission-testing guidelines aren’t due till the end of 2004 and farmers can’t respond if they’re finalized long before that.
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