Democratic candidate for Attorney General Jeff Harris has announced a plan to give local towns more power to stop concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) near their properties.
Rep. Harris has a bill that would allow local residents to use the initiative petition process to put approval of a proposed CAFO to a public vote. Current low only requires notification of those living within 4,500 feet of the proposed site. Permits are ultimately determined by the Department of Natural Resources.
“Our rural communities need an Attorney General who will give a greater voice to the people, instead of fighting to give Jefferson City more power," said Harris. "My plan will give people, who are forced to live with the smell, pollution and waste caused by a nearby CAFO, a powerful voice in the licensing process."
Current law only requires notification of those living within 4,500 feet of the proposed site and doesn’t require the Department of Natural Resources to take local opposition into account when reviewing a permit application.
Harris said CAFOs can lead to increased illness, and ruin property values. He notes that under current law, a CAFO with 17,499 hogs can be constructed within 3,000 feet of a neighboring home.