A group that’s lobbied for tougher air quality standards for large-scale livestock operations is criticizing democrat Governor Tom Vilsack’s actions on the subject. While Vilsack did veto a bill crafted by republican lawmakers that would have established 20-year-old federal rules for judging emissions from the state’s livestock confinements, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement objects to Vilsack’s call for a compromise air quality standard.Bloomfield farmer Garry Klicker says livestock emissions affect people’s health, and Vilsack “shouldn’t be compromising when it comes to people’s health.”Klicker says it’s his “opinion that everyone who breathes these numerous…toxic gases off these (manure) pits…are going to get sick, sooner or later.” Klicker says the stench from manure pits is “not good for any of us.” Iowans for Community Improvement delivered a letter to Vilsack, complaining about his willingness to compromise on the issue. The Iowa Farm Bureau was among those lobbying for the bill Vilsack vetoed which established rules less restrictive air quality standards than those proposed by state officials. Earlier this month Vilsack directed his Department of Natural Resources to come up with compromise air quality rules that are “reasonable” and protect both the livestock industry and public health.
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