Proposed Swine Facility Halted in Illinois After Opposition

Gary Marx and David Jackson reported yesterday at the Chicago Tribune Online that, “Facing opposition from local farmers, one of the state’s largest pork producers has pulled its application to build a hog confinement in downstate Fulton County, handing opponents a rare victory in their efforts to slow the growth of the massive livestock facilities in the state.

“The hog producer, an affiliate of Professional Swine Management, formally withdrew its notice of intent to construct from the Illinois Department of Agriculture last week after sustained protests from neighbors who feared that waste from the proposed 20,000-hog confinement could foul rivers and creeks, and that the operation might ruin roads and jeopardize their rural way of life.”

The article noted that, “The decision to cancel Memory Lane Acres [the name of the proposed facility] is not the only recent setback for Professional Swine Management, which over the years has withstood periodic opposition from local residents and environmental groups to install 27 hog operations in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri with a total of more than 120,000 sows.

“In nearby Bernadotte Township, the company’s Runway Ridge facility, a proposed 20,000-hog confinement located on farmland near the famed Spoon River, also has stalled in the face of opposition.”

Yesterday’s article added that, “Past efforts in Illinois to toughen the livestock facilities law stalled in the face of strong opposition from rural lawmakers backed by farm and livestock associations.

“But Karen Hudson, co-founder of Illinois Citizens for Clean Air & Water and a longtime critic of confinements, said she hopes the balance of power may be shifting as more local farmers join environmentalists in opposing the livestock facilities.

“‘We have a growing number of Farm Bureau farmers who are being affected and who are stepping forward,’ Hudson said.”

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