EPC sets confinement appeal hearing

The state’s Environmental Protection Commission will hear Calhoun County’s appeal of a hog confinement permit at a hearing at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 16 at the Iowa State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

The hearing will be held in room 116. It is open to the public.

In order to attend that hearing, the Board of Supervisors announced Oct. 9 their intention to start their regular Oct. 16 board meeting at 8 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. As of Oct. 9, they had only one item on their agenda, opening bids for a new patrol car for the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office.

The board of supervisors in August heard significant opposition to the Burr Oaks LLC proposal to put a 5,000-head hog confinement on a farm less than 2 miles north of Lohrville. The board voted against accepting and approving the confinement’s matrix, but the Department of Natural Resources granted the confinement permit. The proposal did have enough points on the matrix to be approved.

The board then voted to appeal the permit to the EPC, the only entity in the state that can overturn the approved permit. Calhoun County Board of Supervisors members have acknowledged that the likelihood of the EPC overturning the appeal is slim, but they wanted to be responsive to community members who opposed the project, and register their own concerns with the matrix itself, which allows such confinements so close to towns and cities. Supervisors said they would prefer to see no confinements within two miles of city limits.

Check with The Graphic-Advocate next week for coverage of the hearing.