The Iowa Senate has passed a bill that adopts federal air quality standards for large-scale livestock confinements in Iowa. The federal rules come from the Centers for Disease Control, and Senator David Johnson, a republican from Ocheyedan, says it’s “sound science” compared to the stricter rules on hydrogen sulfide and ammonia emissions that were proposed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Johnson says the rules proposed by the D-N-R are based on faulty research. He says those rules wouldn’t stand up in court, either. But Johnson says republicans have made some accommodations to the complaints raised by democrats. Johnson says discussions “have come a long way” and he hopes there can be some ultimate resolution. But Governor Tom Vilsack, a democrat, is making it clear he does not support the bill in its present form. Vilsack says it’s “not an air quality bill at all.” He says the bill “would be devastating to the environment” and “is clearly not consistent” with the latest scientific data. The Centers for Disease Control rules are based on 20-year-old research on how the smell of manure affects lab rats, not humans.Yet Democrat Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs supported the bill today as it passed the Senate. Gronstal says the bill still needs work, but republicans have “moved in the right direction.” Gronstal says maybe the odds are against it, but maybe “people of good faith can come together and come up with some piece of resolution to this issue.” The bill passed the Senate on a 34-14 vote and goes back to the House for consideration of the changes approved by the Senate. Gronstal says if additional changes aren’t made, the governor will veto the bill.
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