Governor Tom Vilsack is urging state lawmakers not to backtrack on clean-air rules for animal confinements. A new rule governing emissions of hydrogen sulfide was passed by a legislative committee but a subcommittee’s already been appointed to give it more study — which could signal the new law’s in jeopardy. Vilsack says we need to make a positive statement about the environment, adding “Iowans want clean air and understand the importance of having a healthy agriculture industry. He says we can have both, and these rules provide that delicate balance. At 30 parts-per-Billion, the law is far less restrictive than one adopted last year by the state’s environmental protection commission — and struck down by the republican-controlled legislature. Vilsack says it would be a “very serious mistake” for the legislature to nullify those rules, particularly since they provided no options for air quality at all. The new rule does not allow the state to fine or shut down a livestock operation that violates the standard.
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