August 18, 2005

County To Host Public Hearing On Proposed Hog Operation

Adjoining landowners will have an opportunity to address the possibility of a large hog facility proposed for construction in rural Scotland County.

The County Commission has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, August 25 beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the commissionís office at the courthouse. The meeting will address the construction of a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) as governed by recent ordinances passed by county officials.

According to County Clerk Betty Lodewegen, Jay Sinsenig, has applied for a permit to build a facility that will house 1,200 head of wean to finish hogs which is the equivalent of 480 animal units under the county CAFO ordinance.

Ordinance No. 04-02 was enacted by a 3-0 vote of the Scotland County Commission on October 14, 2004.

The law places stiffer regulations on animal numbers allowed in CAFO, which is typically governed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The county ordinance stipulates that 1 animal unit (AU) is the equivalent of 2.5 hogs of 55 pounds or more in weight.

The ordinance established four classes of CAFO with particular requirements for each class, mandating distance from adjoining residences.

The proposed CAFO would be registered as Class VI, meaning it could be no closer than 1,000 feet to any occupied dwelling.

To establish a CAFO, the owner must apply for a county health permit. Larger outfits must apply for an operating permit with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. If the CAFO owns a DNR operating permit and meets the requirements established by the ordinance, the county health permit will be issued after the application fee is paid. If no DNR permit is required, a detailed plan must be submitted to the county commission for approval of a county operating permit.

The process calls for review of the health permit by the Scotland County Health Department, a process that calls for at least one public hearing.

The health permit is renewable annually. The permit is designed to regulate air quality and to prevent the degradation of surface or subsurface water. It is established to insure soil quality and waste disposal.

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