The Ottumwa Courier

March 13, 2013

Supervisors hear concerns on proposed CAFO

Board recommends contacting IDNR and legislators

CINDY TOOPES
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — More than 60 citizens from Wapello County and surrounding counties packed the third-floor courtroom for the public hearing on a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO).

Most of the people were from Jefferson County, and they were concerned about the CAFO.

That’s because the Nick Adam family wants to get a construction permit application for a feeding operation for hogs. The CAFO would be located in Sections 12 and 13 of Washington Township.

After more than two hours of listening to Adam’s neighbors, the supervisors told the crowd they couldn’t help them.

“You need to talk to the people who can stop the feeding operation, and they are the state legislators,” Parker said.

Siegel agreed, and he suggested some of the crowd members should attend the next legislators’ town meeting to get some help. Another step would be talking to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Supervisor Greg Kenning told the crowd that the letters many of the people had mailed to the supervisors would be read aloud and put into the board’s record of the meeting.

Citizens from Batavia and Eldon expressed concern about the hog operation and how the manure smell alone will keep people from visiting the American Gothic House in Eldon.

Deb Chance said the Adam family had a “lack of integrity” for saying a model CAFO would offer health and a quality of life without depleting revenues.

Lois Dovico said the hog feeding operation was a big concern to her because she owns land on 220th Street. She also likes to grow greenhouse vegetables and has been doing this since 1978.

Dovico told the supervisors that Batavia is on an aquifer and one day she became very sick after being near the aquifer.

“I loaded the truck but when I got near the tree, I became very sick,” she said. “The pain was intense, and I couldn’t lift anything.”

Her family checked her, and Dovico had a fever of 105.6 degrees. They suspected she had something intense and the doctor verified it. Flesh-eating microbes “took the tissue” right off her leg.

CAFOs are increasing, and people can’t continue to eat and produce as it has been.

“Our job is to do the right thing and say no to a CAFO,” she said.