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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.
With 11 exceptions, all counties will use the matrix during the next 12 months. The following counties will not use the matrix in 2017: Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Keokuk, Lee, Mahaska, Osceola, Plymouth, Wapello, Warren and Washington.
Animal producers in these counties must meet higher standards than other confinement producers who also need a construction permit. They qualify by choosing a site and using practices that reduce impacts on air, water and the community.
Counties that adopt the master matrix can provide more input to producers on site selection, and proposed structures and facility management. Participating counties score each master matrix submitted in their county and can recommend to approve or deny the construction permit. They can also join in DNR visits to a proposed confinement site.
While all counties may submit comments to DNR during the permitting process, counties that adopt the master matrix can also appeal a preliminary permit to the state Environmental Protection Commission.
The deadline for enrolling in the program is Jan. 31 of each year.
Find more information, including a map of participating counties by searching for Master Matrix at www.iowadnr.gov/afo.
The master matrix applies to producers who must get a construction permit to build, expand or modify a totally roofed facility. Generally, these are confinement feeding operations with more than 2,500 finishing hogs, 1,000 beef cattle or 715 mature dairy cows.