The Iowa Department of Natural Resources held an air quality hearing last night in northern Iowa to seek comments about proposed hydrogen sulfide emission standards. An overflow crowd of 250 people crammed into the Mason City Public Library for the third of five meetings the D-N-R is holding around the state. Todd Stillwater of Algona is a member of the Iowa Cattleman’s Association and objects to the new rules. Stillwater hopes people realize the importance of the livestock industry to the state. He says as long as livestock is managed properly and not to the disregard of your neighbors, it’s important. He says it’s doesn’t mean neighbors can run over you because they’re sensitive to a little smell. He says the state of Iowa has a long history of livestock and those that think it shouldn’t have livestock, should maybe move to another state.Chris Bedford is the campaign coordinator for the “Care for Iowa Campaign.” Bedford says unless restrictions are put in place, the livestock industry is going to hurt other chances for economic development. He says people perceive there’s a problem, so that means there’s a problem. Bedford says producers have to think about raising animals in a different way.Leon Sheets is a farmer near Ionia in Chickasaw County. Sheets says it seems like enforcing the regulations may cost the state too much money. He says he’s really like to know what his numbers are. He says it’s “scares the beejeebers out of him” because he doesn’t know if the air police are going to come out and shut him down.Ron Brada of Iowa Falls says the D-N-R is stepping on the toes of the Iowa Legislature by trying to establish these rules. He says a University of Southern California study shows the affects of noxious gases slowly affect people. He says you’re progressively dehumanized by the dose.Due to the overflow crowd, the D-N-R says they’ll schedule another public hearing between now and the middle of April.
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