December 8, 2011

County Commission Denies Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation

After a series of public hearings regarding a proposed permit for a new concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), the Scotland County Commission voted 2-0 to decline the application citing its proximity to a populated area.

On November 30th, commissioners Paul Campbell and Chipper Harris voted to deny the permit requested by Gavin Hauk in the name of the Pinnacle Group for a new hog confinement proposed for construction on Route U, east of Memphis.

Ordinance 09-01, which regulates CAFOs in the county, stipulates in section 5.2, that no CAFO shall be located within two miles of a populated area. The ordinance defines populated area as no fewer than 10 occupied dwellings not on a CAFO property, measured in a straight line to the nearest CAFO lot, building, confinement area or water handling facility.

The commission cited this section in its decision to deny Hauk's permit, noting the proposed CAFO did not meet the guidelines for setback from a populated area.

Approximately 40 residents and representatives of parties involved in the permitting process were on hand to hear the decision on Wednesday.

Currently there are four CAFO's operating in Scotland County under permits issued under ordinance 09-01, which was enacted August 12, 2009.

Overall, there are an estimated two dozen CAFO facilities in the county, according to the Scotland County Assessor's office.

Previously the county had operated under health ordinance 04-01, which was approved by the county commission on October 14, 2004. That ordinance was repealed by the county commission on September 18, 2008. At that time there were four CAFOs operating under permits, three that were non-operation but that had been approved for permits, and three others in the permit process itself.

When the ordinance was repealed in 2008, it eliminated the permit requirements, meaning all CAFOs built before August 12, 2009, do not require county permits.

Currently there are no other CAFO building permits being considered by the county.

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