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EcoNews Wire

Environmental news about water quality, air quality, waste management, energy and related topics including Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) agenda and minutes. EcoNewsWire is published every Thursday and will be posted on our website as both news releases and below for archival purposes.

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Deadline Near for Counties to Sign Up for Animal Confinement Site Evaluations
Thursday, December 05, 2013 by Iowa DNR
DES MOINES – Counties interested in evaluating proposed sites of animal confinements that need a construction permit must sign up by Jan. 31, 2014.

The board of supervisors in counties that would like to participate must adopt and file a construction evaluation resolution and submit it to the DNR between Jan. 1 and 31.

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

“Adopting a construction evaluation resolution and properly using the master matrix process is the primary method counties have to work with livestock producers on proposed confinement operations,” said Gene Tinker, coordinator of the DNR animal feeding section. “County supervisors or staffs have the opportunity to review master matrix applications to determine if the site characteristics and management practices selected are appropriate to receive points needed for a passing score.”

Counties that participate in the master matrix process may send staff to 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.

Approximately 86 counties have filed resolutions each year since the master matrix went into effect in 2003.

Counties that have adopted a resolution should mail it to Jerah Sheets at the DNR, 502 E. Ninth St., Des Moines, IA 50319 or fax it to 515-281-8895. Sign-ups occur annually during the month of January for the upcoming February through January.  

Most confinement feeding operations that need to apply for a permit are subject to the matrix.  For more information on which operations are affected, check the DNR website under animal feeding operations at Look under Confinements/ConstructionRequirements/Permitted/MasterMatrix.aspx.

Additional information for counties is available on the Iowa State Association of Counties website at under master matrix – construction evaluation.