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Counties Can Signup to Evaluate CAFO sites
Iowa Ag Connection - 01/17/2022

Counties interested in evaluating construction permits for proposed animal feeding facilities must adopt and submit a construction evaluation resolution by the end of January.

"County boards can pass a resolution to participate in the master matrix at any time, but they must submit the resolution to DNR between Jan. 1 and 31," said Kelli Book, DNR attorney.

On average, 88 counties pass a resolution each year, allowing them to review construction permit applications required for larger, totally roofed animal feeding operations (confinements).

Producers in counties that file the resolutions must meet additional standards in their construction permits than sites in other counties. They must earn points on a master matrix by choosing a site and using practices that reduce effects on the environment and the community.

The master matrix development, submittal and approval process allows applicants and county supervisors to discuss options for site selection, facility type and management. The county submits a recommendation to the DNR on the permit application after reviewing the matrix items the applicant selected.

Counties that participate in the master matrix process may accompany DNR on site visits to proposed locations. The county board of supervisors may also appeal the DNR's preliminary approval of a permit to the Environmental Protection Commission.

Counties should send resolutions to Kelli Book at DNR, 502 E. Ninth St., Des Moines, IA 50319-0034 or email Sign-ups in January apply to permit applications DNR receives from February through January 2023.

For historical information on counties that adopted resolutions, check for Master Matrix information on the DNR construction permit webpage.

More information is also available from the Iowa State Association of Counties.

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