9 months ago jg-tc.com
Supporters say there should be more government control of operations
The current Illinois legislation livestock management facilities are governed under the Livestock Management Facilities Act (LMFA). LMFA was approved in May 1996 and has since been amended in 1998, 1999 and 2007.
The purpose of the LMFA is to ensure that livestock facilities will be sited on scientific, objective criteria and that rules are applied uniformly throughout the state. This has allowed a balanced approach in protecting the environment and has allowed farmers to continue to raise livestock.
There is current legislation to amend the law again. Opponents of the current law feel that under the new legislation there should be more state and local government power on these farm sites and more regulations on environmental practices. However, all new or expanded livestock facilities in Illinois are governed under LMFA. The Act oversees livestock farms and manure handling systems, requires certification of livestock producers, and sets construction standards for buildings, waste storage structures and lagoons.
For a more in-depth look at the criteria that livestock farmers must meet under the current LMFA:
Eight siting criteria must be met before a new facility can be built or an existing facility can be significantly expanded. The criteria addresses waste management, environmental protection, compatibility with the character of the surrounding area, odor control, traffic patterns and consistency with community growth and economic development.
Farmers with operations designed for more than 300 animal units must be certified in manure management and must renew their certification every three years. They earn the certification by attending an approved training session or by passing a written Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) test.
Farmers with facilities designed for 1,000 or more animal units must develop a manure management plan. Those farmers must attend an approved training session and pass a test regarding manure management.
Facilities with 5,000 or more animal units must submit manure plans to IDOA for approval.
Notification to neighbors - A Notice of Intent to Construct (NOITC) form must be filed for any new facility or planned significant expansion. It provides information about the project location, size, type and compliance with setback provisions.
Facility owners planning to construct or expand must notify all landowners within the affected setback distance – typically one-half mile. Setbacks are buffer zones that are established to reduce the impact of odor on neighbors.
Under LMFA, county government boards may request a public meeting on proposed facilities greater than 1,000 animal units. During the hearing, the operators of the planned facility must address the eight siting criteria listed above. The county government board has the right to make a non-binding recommendation on the project to IDOA.
Under the current law, it allows livestock farmers to continue on with their livelihoods, yet keep in compliance with environmental regulations.