"Mixed" is how I described the reaction to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's new regulations for Confined Feeding Operations ("CFOs") and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations ("CAFOs") in a recent interview with Hoosier Ag Today. Since I made that statement, various newspapers and other groups have run headlines describing the CFO and CAFO regulations in various lights. I've collected links to some of those stories here.
The Associated Press ran an article that was headlined by the Chicago Tribune as: Activists: New Indiana livestock rules insufficient:
State officials contend the updated rules, which replace restrictions approved six years ago, will provide significant new protections for ground and surface waters.
Those include barring livestock farmers from spreading manure onto frozen or snow-covered fields as fertilizer, a practice that can taint nearby waterways if rain or snowmelt washes the manure off before it's absorbed into the ground.
But activists said that aside from a handful of improvements, the revised rules fail to adequately protect water quality, public health and communities near big livestock farms -- the largest of which can generate as much excrement as a town.
The same article appeared in the Louisville Courier Journal under a slightly more negative headline: Activists: New
Livestock Rules Stink. Indiana
The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette ran an article titled: Crackdown on CAFOs.
regulators adopted last week to govern large livestock operations were a
welcome step toward protecting water quality from careless operators. But
environmental advocates are raising legitimate concerns that the rules don’t go
far enough. Indiana
The Hoosier Environmental Council, Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter, Indiana CAFO Watch and Citizens Action Coalition sent out a joint news release about those concerns. The groups were specifically worried that setback requirements were not stringent enough and that the whole process lacks the transparency needed to keep the public informed.
Indiana Farm Bureau issued a less editorial press release: Indiana Confined Feeding Rules Amended. In the release, staff attorney Justin Schneider wrote:
A lot of work went into shaping these rules so that they would be protective of the environment and human health while not unduly burdening livestock and poultry producers.
Posted by Todd Janzen