CAFO Legislation Introduced in Illinois State Senate

Tom Lisi reported this week at WSIU Radio Online that, “Ten years ago, Cindy Bonnet found out she was getting new neighbors in Nora, Illinois: 10,000 cows. It’s what’s known in the industry as a ‘concentrated animal feeding operation,’ or CAFO: basically a big cow warehouse, with a giant trough under it to catch their waste.”

The update explained that, “Democratic lawmakers with districts in Central Illinois say they’re sponsoring several pieces of legislation to deal with a number of problems related to CAFOs. Senator Dave Koehler of Peoria is sponsoring legislation to address concerns over water and air pollution. He says there are many CAFO’s across the state that are not even registered.”

Mr. Lisi added that, “Farmers from Fulton County voiced their opposition at public hearings before a new CAFO site was built. They say the decision was ultimately left to county officials, and the hearing decision was nonbinding and ignored.

The Department of Agriculture declined to comment on the complaints of public hearings on CAFOs. A spokesperson emailed the following statement. ‘The [law] requires the Department to review all relevant materials and testimony before making a final decision. If a proposal is in compliance with the rules and requirements set forth in statute, it will be approved.'”

And a news release this week from state Sen. Koehler stated that, “New legislation aimed at protecting the environment in rural Illinois was unveiled in the Illinois Senate today. State [Sen. Koehler] unveiled a package of legislation that would make changes to the regulations governing Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs.

“Joined by farmers from all across the state, Koehler introduced the legislation to bring transparency to the process of planning and expanding hog farms,” the release said.

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