Floyd County Supervisor testifies before U-S Senate about livestock emissions

Floyd County Supervisor and farmer Mark Kuhn

Washington DC – A farmer and member of the Floyd County Supervisors testified before a U-S Senate subcommittee Thursday and spoke against a change that would exempt large-scale livestock producers from penalties and from reporting hazardous air emissions.  Mark Kuhn says Iowa State University and the University of Iowa conducted a study on emissions from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) in 2001.

He told the senators the Iowa Legislature approved and then Governor Tom Vilsack signed into law new livestock regulations in 2002 which gave the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) authority to develop air quality rules.  Kuhn says each time the air quality rules came forward, there was opposition.

Kuhn says nothing has changed in Iowa since the air quality study was released 16 years ago — with two key exceptions — the number of CAFO’s has increased and hog production is set to also increase.

He talked about Jeff and Gail Schwartzkopf who bought a house in the country near Rudd four years ago and how livestock operations built nearby “changed their lives forever.”

Kunn asked the Senators to keep the regulations in place

A cattle rancher and a representative of the chicken industry also testified in the hearing. They both asked that the livestock industry be exempt from the emissions requirements.  Cattle ranch owner Todd Motenson said, ” I cannot support needless requirements that burden the agricultural community while providing no environmental or public health benefit.”

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