October 19, 2012
November 16 UPDATE:
Prairie Rivers Network just wrapped up an intense schedule of hearings on IEPA’s proposed rule for livestock operations factory farms. Overall, the hearings went well and we were able to convey that livestock operations should be more stringently regulated because of negative impacts on Illinois streams and rural residents. Our priorities for rule changes include: establishment of a livestock operation siting setback from surface waters, a cap on waste application rates to fields in winter, mandatory registration of all large CAFOs (factory farms) with IEPA, and improved regulation of waste transfers. We have until January 16 to submit our final comments on the rule, and the Board will consider our comments before issuing a final rule hopefully sometime in 2013. Finally, we want to thank our two experts for testifying, and all the concerned residents who came to the hearings to share their stories with the Board.
October 19th post:
Help the State of Illinois revise their laws to keep our water safe from livestock waste. Tell your story or make a comment sharing your concerns.
The State of Illinois is in the middle of revising the regulation of factory farms. In particular, the livestock regulations are being updated so that they are consistent with federal requirements associated with the Clean Water Act. The Illinois Pollution Control Board is now seeking public comment on the draft regulations at three upcoming hearings in Urbana, DeKalb, and Elizabeth.
If you have been personally, negatively affected by a poorly managed livestock operation, your story is an important one that should be told during this public comment process. Even if you have not been directly affected, please consider making a public comment on any concerns you have about factory farms that relate to water pollution.
Prairie Rivers Network will be participating in the hearings. The main improvements we are seeking in the regulations include:
- Requirement for all large livestock operations to register with the Illinois EPA
- Creation of a livestock operation siting setback from streams and lakes
- A larger setback between pristine streams and agricultural fields where livestock waste is applied
- More restrictions on land application of waste in winter.
If these four improvements are adopted, we would expect to see fewer incidences of fish kills from misapplied waste and downstream contamination from leaking manure ponds.
The public hearings will be held at the following locations. The hearings should start with a public comment period, and the Board will likely be limiting each comment to 2-5 minutes. We recommend that you write your comment in advance and read it to the Board, so that you say everything you meant to in an organized fashion. Also, please call Stacy at the Prairie Rivers Network office (217.344.2371) if you plan to attend the hearings. We hope to hear from you!
10AM Tuesday October 23
Brookens Administrative Center
Lyle Shields Meeting Room
1776 E. Washington
10AM Tuesday October 30
DeKalb Municipal Building
City Council Chambers, Room 200
200 S. 4th Street
10AM Wednesday November 14
Highland Community College (West Campus)
Conference Room 129
300 N. West Street