State officials have put the brakes on an emergency rule that would have stopped construction of some hog confinements. Department of Natural Resources officials had planned to ask a panel of state legislators to approve a rule that would have given the department authority to stop construction of some livestock and poultry confinements.
Officials say some new livestock and poultry units are being built too close to drinking water sources. The rule would have also given state officials the ability to order changes in construction of livestock confinements if there were environmental concerns. This new policy would have gone into effect December 30th, if approved by the state Environmental Protection Commission which meets next week. But in an abrupt move, the D-N-R has decided to table the rule and seek public comment, which means the spring construction season will start without the rule being in place.
The agency wants to get “feedback” to judge how much more authority over animal feeding operations legislators are willing to grant state regulators. Most of those who plan to build livestock confinements in Iowa must submit their construction plans to the state, and file a manure management plan to prove they’ve lined up enough land to spread the manure that would come from the unit.