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Counties Sign Up Now to Evaluate Animal Confinement Sites

DES MOINES – Counties interested in evaluating proposed animal feeding facilities must adopt and submit a construction evaluation resolution to the DNR between Jan. 1 and 31.

About 87 counties pass a resolution each year, which allows them to review construction permit applications required for larger totally roofed animal feeding operations (confinements).

The Master Matrix development, submittal and approval process allows applicants and county supervisors to discuss options for site selection, facility type and management.

“County supervisors review the master matrix items selected by the applicant and determine if a passing score for the matrix has been achieved. The county then submits a recommendation to the DNR on the permit application,” said Ken Hessenius, the DNR’s animal feeding operations enforcement coordinator.

Producers in counties that file the resolutions must meet higher standards than permitted sites in other counties.  They must earn points on a master matrix by choosing a site and using practices that reduce effects on the environment and the community.

Counties that participate in the master matrix process may accompany the DNR on site visits to proposed locations. The county board of supervisors may also appeal the DNR’s preliminary approval of a permit to the Environmental Protection Commission.

County boards of supervisors may approve the resolutions at any time, but must mail resolutions between Jan. 1 and 31, 2016, to Jerah Sheets at the DNR, 502 E. Ninth St., Des Moines, IA 50319, email to Jerah.Sheets@dnr.iowa.gov or fax to 515-725-8202. Sign-ups in January apply to permit applications received in the following February through January of 2017. 

For historical information on counties that adopted resolutions, check the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/afo and search for master matrix.

Additional information is available from the Iowa State Association of Counties at www.iowacounties.org/.

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