DNR rejects amendment to "odor rule," locals call the move illegal

4 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Tuesday, November 28 2017 Nov 28, 2017 Tuesday, November 28, 2017 5:55:00 PM CST November 28, 2017 in News
By: Chris Joseph, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

FULTON - Local farmers and rural residents are fighting harmful odors and waste at pig and chicken factory farms and they're upset the Department of Natural Resources is rejecting their petitions.

They call the DNR decision illegal.

The group "Friends for Responsible Agriculture" in coordination with "Hickory Neighbors United" and the "Northeast Missouri Community Conservation Coalition" sent the petitions to the Missouri Air Conservation Commission this September.

They urge the amendment of existing law on air quality.

Currently, only the largest classification of factory farms are subject to the regulations. The amendment would have put the smaller farms under the same rules. 

"Friends" president Jeff Jones said his community is concerned by the possibility of water contamination from the smaller factory farms.

"We want to make sure that the people are protected that have to live close to these things," he said.

The petitions included two peer-reviewed reports. Doctors at MU and Johns Hopkins University both cited health risks and recommended the commission implement the amendment. 

The reports stated that factory farms produce ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. Both chemicals damage the respiratory system with significant exposure.

The Department of Natural Resources notified the groups' attorney last Wednesday that it "does not propose to amend" the regulations as a result of the petition.

The department's cited: 

  • The 2007 stakeholder process which created the current law which took effect in 2010
  • The smaller factory farm classifications are subjected to other regulations
  • The additional regulations would burden the smaller factory farms

In a statement, DNR Director of Communications Connie Patterson said: "The department has analyzed this issue. We don't think we need these rules, and we will share this formally with the Missouri Air Conservation Commission at its next meeting on Dec. 7."

The groups' attorney, Stephen Jeffery, called the DNR's rejection of the petition illegal because the decision ultimately lies with the Missouri Air Conservation Commission, not the DNR.

The commission is a branch of the Department of Natural Resources. The commission has the authority to adopt, amend and rescind air quality rules.

"It appears to us anyway, that the DNR is unilaterally deciding to deny everything that these folks were asking for in these petitions," Jeffery said. "And as a result, they are denying the air commissioners the opportunity to engage the issue."

Commission members did not return requests for comment. 

Their next meeting is Dec. 7. Jones said he plans to reach out to the commission beforehand in an effort to get the petition on the agenda. 

Jeffery did not dismiss the possibility of legal action if direct communication with the commission fails. 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY – A majority of Republicans passed a tax bill Tuesday night, but it is still drawing some criticism... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
TIPTON – Some Tipton residents spoke out Wednesday against a potential new concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO). Critics say CAFOs... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Pamela Fitzmaurice has a special section in the cookbook her mother passed down to her. That section is... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Puerto Rico was left powerless on Wednesday, nearly seven months after the powerful September storm,... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:32:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Eric Greitens filed a restraining order against Attorney General Josh Hawley on Monday over the investigation... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 4:34:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Moberly and Westran Public School Districts celebrated their Healthy Schools Healthy Community initiative on Wednesday. The initiative is... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:42:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
MEXICO - It might seem strange to sight an ocean bird in Missouri, but seeing the American White Pelican isn't... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:41:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman said Wednesday she was never educated on sexual assault and never realized she... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Senate's top budgeter is proposing giving public K-12 schools $48 million more next... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:12:16 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – Dry, windy weather is partially to blame for a large grass fire that destroyed a significant portion of... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 2:52:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – More than one thousand t-shirts covered Kuhlman Court on MU's campus on Wednesday. That's one for every... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 2:42:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Passengers at airports across the country are learning firsthand the impact of new security measures the TSA is... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 2:07:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - By the year 2022, Columbia aims to have 25 percent of its energy come from renewable resources. ... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 1:57:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Law enforcement arrested a former employee at the state capitol on suspicion of sex crimes involving a... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 11:33:00 AM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say deputies have shot and killed a parole absconder who raised a handgun at them... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 10:22:00 AM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say a driver fled from officers before causing a fatal crash in Springfield. Police... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 10:15:00 AM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are investigating the death of a 32-year-old male early Wednesday morning at a home on Clark Lane.... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 8:51:00 AM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An examination of the barriers on the 5th and Walnut parking garage Wednesday showed safety barriers on the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 11:00:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
7am 34°
8am 36°
9am 38°
10am 39°