The state’s Environmental Protection Commission met in Clear Lake Monday and discussed a rule that’d award points to livestock farmers for various actions. The so-called matrix, part of a crackdown on confinement pollution passed by the Legislature earlier this year, offers counties a way to review proposals for new confinements. Robyn Pruisner, the D-N-R’s coordinator of feeding operations, says farmers have been taking advantage of the interim matrix and making sure they have the minimum amount of points needed to get their confinements approved. She says the fill in the application form up to the point where they get the minimum 100 points and then stop.Commissioner Darrell Hanson of Manchester says they have to find the right point minimum needed for confinements to be approved. Hanson says they need to check out sites that are doing a good job and see how they fit into the matrix to find a good minimum.Commissioner Rita Venner of Breda says seeking 100-percent approval from neighbors within a certain distance to score points for the matrix is not fair. Venner says farmers score points by using a corn low in phosphorus called Phytase would be hard to enforce. Phytase is a corn which cuts back in the amount of phosphorous produced in hog manure. A series of public meetings about the matrix will be held prior to the commission’s final vote on the matter at their October meeting.
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