The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 16, 2014

Van Buren supervisors deny hog confinement permit application

KEOSAUQUA — A proposed swine building in Chequest Township didn’t receive a seal of approval from Van Buren County Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors voted Monday to recommend to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to deny the permit. Supervisor Bob Waugh said the county’s master matrix point evaluation on the Corey Austin (Squealer’s Nook) proposed expansion failed to have the minimum number of points required.

The county has adopted the construction evaluation resolution known as the master matrix, which gives the supervisors input on proposed confinement facilities. Producers in counties who have adopted the matrix must meet higher standards than other permitted facilities. Before they can be approved for construction, they must earn points on the master matrix for choosing sites and using practices that reduce adverse impacts on the environment and the community. Producers must have 50 percent (440 points minimum) of the total score and at least 25 percent of the available points in each of the three subcategories of air, water and community impacts to pass the master matrix.

The IDNR will evaluate the site. The producer also gave his score.

Waugh said he was at the site, which is in section 32 of Chequest Township, Friday. An IDNR official who was scheduled to be with Waugh to score the facility failed to show up, Waugh said. The DNR later told him they were to be at the site Monday, but a person in attendance at the meeting said the IDNR rescheduled their visit to Friday.

Waugh scored the confinement as a representative of the county and said that the facility failed to get the necessary points. “The producer took 30 points under No. 4, on water source, but he failed to meet the definition of a water source. I determined he did not qualify for the points. I define a water source as cutting a ditch and the water will run in it. Using the ditch, the distance is less than the minimum requirement. That put their score below the matrix minimum,” said Waugh.

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