Several critics and at least one defender of livestock farms came to a meeting on the DNR’s proposed standards, this week in Atlantic. Adair County resident Barb Kalbach is a member of Citizens for Community Improvement, a group that’s fought a local hog-lot proposal. Calbach says she’d like to see some kind of odor standard, since it’s the kind of nuisance that makes people live with their homes completely closed up. DNR Environmental Specialist Brian Bunton told people at the meeting the agency’s started monitoring emissions at two sites in the state.He says if there’s “an excedence” while they’re monitoring, right now all they can do is make note of it, while after 2004 when the rules are in force, they can do something to enforce it. Some environmental groups think the enforcement should start sooner than that. Taylor County supervisor Lee Little can’t see why the state should wait two and-a-half years. He says the program exists and test equipment’s available, so waiting longer makes a “sham” of the whole issue. But farmer Dale Larsen raises hogs at his family farm near Marne in Cass County, and says rules that hit farmers with as few as 500 hogs will drive small producers out of business. He says a family farmer can’t survive on 500 “animal units” anymore and he blames confused people who don’t know what the livestock industry’s all about.
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