Environmental Law Blog
CAFO Reform? State or Local?
Anticipation over Missouri's potential for concentrated animal feeding operation ("CAFO") regulatory reform has been a source of much controversy amongst Missouri's media professionals. In fact, just last week, the Columbia Tribune posed the question: Which form of regulatory control is better? Local control or state-wide regulation?
Local control offers Missouri citizens the most direct opportunity to regulate the CAFOs allowed into their community. Some contend that more often than not, however, local health ordinances keep CAFOs out of counties where they may be most suited to operate because local residents stand by the "Not in My Back Yard" principle.
On the other hand, local control advocates state that state-wide regulation has proven ineffective in preventing odors and potentially harmful air and water releases. Besides, shouldn't local communities and neighboring landowners have input regarding the operation of confined animal operation?
The recent media attention makes it all the more reasonable to pose the ultimate question to you: Which form of regulation would you prefer? Local or state control? What are the costs and benefits of each?
1 Response to "CAFO Reform? State or Local?"
August 28, 2008 1:44 pm
Both. State control for the big questions of water pollution, air pollution, disease issues, etc. -- the overall regulation of the actual industry. Local control on the issue of "Not in my back yard." Most populated areas have planning and zoning boards that will not allow certain kinds of businesses in some locations in a city. County commissioners should have the right to allow or not allow CAFOs within their jurisdiction. Or to limit the areas where they can be located. I live near the Mark Twain Lake. I am very concerned about the water quality. CAFOs produce a lot of pollution -- I don't want to drink water laced with hormones and antibiotics. During flooding the water runoff pours all types of untreated animal wastes into the lake. We cannot invite tourists to our county if there is an unbearable stench in the air. There are too many other options for those visitors -- and the dollars they contribute to the economy. I bought my property here in 1974. I plan to live there as long as I am able to maintain my own home. Who should have the right to open a facility that would make the air unfit to breath? If one comes within a mile of my house, I will not be able to sell it if I ever need to go to a nursing home. This has already happened to a couple who live just down the road from my neighborhood. In school my earliest memory of learning about the rights of an individual -- One person's right to operate his fist ends just short of the nose of another person. If that applies to fists, should it not apply to noxious odors?