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DES MOINES – Once again, 88 of 99 Iowa counties notified DNR in January that they plan to evaluate construction permit applications and proposed locations for animal confinements by using the master matrix.
Animal producers in these counties must meet higher standards than other confinement producers who also need a construction permit. They must earn points on the master matrix by choosing a site and using practices that reduce impacts on air, water and the community.
With 11 exceptions, all counties will use the matrix during the next 12 months. The following counties will not use the matrix in 2016: Decatur, Des Moines, Fremont, Keokuk, Lee, Mahaska, Osceola, Plymouth, Wapello, Warren and Washington.
Counties that adopt the master matrix can provide more input to producers on site selection, the proposed structures and proposed facility management. Participating counties score each master matrix submitted in their county and can also join in DNR visits to a proposed confinement site.
While all counties may submit comments to DNR during the review process for permit applications, counties that adopt the master matrix can also appeal approval of a preliminary permit to the state Environmental Protection Commission.
The deadline for enrolling in the program is Jan. 31 of each year.
Producers and citizens can obtain more information and view a map of participating counties by looking for preconstruction requirements for permitted confinements at www.iowadnr.gov/afo. Or, find the maps at www.iowadnr.gov/Environmental-Protection/Land-Quality/Animal-Feeding-Operations/Confinements/Construction-Requirements/Permitted/Master-Matrix.
Only producers who must get a construction permit for a confinement are affected by the master matrix. Generally, these include proposed construction, expansion or modification of confinement feeding operations with more than 2,500 finishing hogs, 1,000 beef cattle or 715 mature dairy cows. Confinements are totally roofed facilities.