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Counties - prepare for signup to evaluate animal confinement sites

  • 12/21/2021 3:38:00 PM
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DNR reminded the Iowa State Association of Counties in early December that counties interested in evaluating construction permits for proposed animal feeding facilities must adopt a construction evaluation resolution.

“Although county boards must submit the resolution to DNR between Jan. 1 and 31 of 2022, a reminder allows extra time for boards to consider their decision,” said Kelli Book, DNR attorney.

On average, 88 counties pass a resolution each year, allowing them to review construction permit applications required for larger, totally roofed animal feeding operations (confinements).

Producers in counties that file the resolutions must meet additional standards in their construction permits than 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.

The Master Matrix development, submittal and approval process allows applicants and county supervisors to discuss options for site selection, facility type and management. The county submits a recommendation to the DNR on the permit application after reviewing the master matrix items the applicant selected.

Counties that participate in the master matrix process may accompany 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 submit resolutions between Jan. 1 and 31, 2022. Send resolutions to Kelli Book at DNR, 502 E. Ninth St., Des Moines, IA 50319-0034 or email Kelli.Book@dnr.iowa.gov. Sign-ups in January apply to permit applications DNR receives from February 2022 through January 2023.

For historical information on counties that adopted resolutions, check for Master Matrix information on the DNR’s animal feeding operations construction permit webpage.

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

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