Maybe this will be the year the General Assembly decides to watch out for environmental interests rather than pork producers. Several bills have been introduced this legislative session which attempt to regulate Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). In years past, bills have been introduced and interest groups have kept them from becoming law. Of course those interests are the livestock industry, in particular, the pork industry.
This year a number of bills have been introduced. They are as follows:
DIGEST OF HB1074 (Updated February 20, 2009 12:23 pm – DI 84)
Confined feeding operations. Establishes good character disclosure requirements for confined feeding operations and concentrated animal feeding operations (operations). Requires operators to maintain liability insurance. Allows the department of environmental management (IDEM) to review and act on disclosed good character information. Provides that: (1) IDEM approval of operations applies to both original construction and modifications; (2) the requirement for notice to owners and occupants of neighboring land applies to all operations; and (3) notice be published after a application or notice of intent is filed.
DIGEST OF HB 1075 (Updated February 17, 2009 11:48 am – DI 77)
CAFO setbacks around state owned properties. Provides that after June 30, 2009, a person may not: (1) start construction of a confined feeding operation if any part of the operation; (2) start construction of a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) if any part of the CAFO; or (3) enter into an agreement for manure application if any part of the manure application area; is within two miles of the boundary of a state park or reservoir operated by the department of natural resources.
The one I really like is Senate Bill 0050, which places a three-year moratorium on construction of CAFOs. But I imagine that one will have about as much chance of passing as pigs flying. It is still stuck at the first reading and probably will not progress further.
Photo Credit: Google Images
Indiana has become a haven for CAFO construction. Daniels has made it clear that he intends to double pork production within the next few years, and he has made every effort to ensure that the regulatory climate is as weak possible. He recently abolished the enforcement arm of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and his toadies are attempting to establish a board to make sure any regulation that is too restrictive – based on their boss’s opinion – does not see the light of day.
The Little Emperor has it in for Indiana’s environment, and he doesn’t intend to stop until he has turned Indiana into one huge, hazardous, smelly CAFO.