For only the second time in a decade the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has denied a construction permit to developers who hope to build a large-scale livestock facility. The operation was planned near Farson, which is 12 miles northeast of Ottumwa.
The D-N-R’s Wayne Gieselman says for the past several months state officials had been working with the developer, asking for improvements on the manure management plan for the proposed facility. “We had gone through three different extensions of time to allow the producer put together a plan that met the requirements and we still were not able to get that done,” Gieselman says.
Gieselman talked with the developer by phone this (Wednesday) morning, but Gieselman says he can’t guess whether the developer will rework and resubmit his application. “The fact that we denied the permit does not mean they cannot make another application for a permit at the same location,” Gieselman says. The steepness of the ground on which the liquid manure from the proposed facility would be applied as well as the yield potential of the corn ground were the two primary reasons the permit was denied, according to Gieselman. “
So there are issues that could be fixed and resolved,” he says. Gieselman notes there’s been a lot of local opposition. “Local folks (who) live in the area just do not want a hog facility in their neighborhood and that’s not uncommon,” Gieselman says. “But I do expect we’ll probably be looking at this again.” Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement issued a statement celebrating the state’s decision to deny the construction permit for the proposed 43-hundred-head farrowing facility.
The director of the D-N-R personally toured the site in February, at the invitation of area residents who opposed construction. Neighbor Stan Van Der Horst says he used to farm the ground where developers proposed spreading manure, and Van Der Horst says he had a hard time keeping his tractor from tipping over on the steep hills, and he worries a manure spreader would easily tip, causing a manure spill.