Two bills pending in the Iowa Legislature could have a big impact on the state’s livestock producers – but both bills face an uncertain future. One of the bills would essentially re-write the rules governing where livestock facilities can be located in Iowa. The other would give county supervisors the power to veto new livestock facilities. Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Rich Leopold says he’s in no hurry for either measure to pass.
"I am asking for the gift of time," Leopold says. "Give us a year, a year and a half, to put some things on the ground to show the new plan for water quality..and then we’ll see — after the dust has settled a bit — whether those bills are necessary."
Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey agrees. In some cases, our regulations kind of get ahead of the science-based approach that I think most of us would like to see," Northey says. The bill that would give county officials veto power over the location of livestock operations cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The other bill that would re-write some of the rules livestock operations must adhere to when applying for a construction permit cleared the House Environmental Protection Committee and has been sent to the House Ag Committee for review.