Livestock Master Matrix passes in 88 Iowa Counties
February 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson
Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say 88 counties notified the DNR last month, that they plan to evaluate construction permit applications and proposed locations for animal confinements by using the master matrix. Animal producers in these counties must meet higher standards than other confinement producers who also need a construction permit. They must earn points on the master matrix by choosing a site and using practices that reduce impacts on air, water and the community.
With 11 exceptions, all counties will use the matrix during the next 12 months. None of the 11 counties who opted not to use the matrix are in western or southwest Iowa. Counties that adopt the master matrix can provide more input to producers on site selection, the proposed structures and proposed facility management. Participating counties can also join in DNR visits to a proposed confinement site.
While all counties may submit comments to the DNR during the review process for permit applications, counties that adopt the master matrix can also appeal approval of a preliminary permit to the Environmental Protection Commission. The deadline for enrolling in the program is Jan. 31st of each year. Producers and citizens can obtain more information and view a map of participating counties by looking for preconstruction requirements for permitted confinements at www.iowadnr.gov/afo.
The matrix affects only producers who must get a construction permit for a confinement. Generally, these include proposed construction, expansion or modification of confinement feeding operations with more than 2,500 finishing hogs, 1,000 beef cattle or 715 mature dairy cows.