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

1 year 1 week 6 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
MEXICO - Police arrested a parent of a Mexico Middle School student after he allegedly made threats towards a staff... More >>
23 minutes ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 2:24:00 PM CST December 12, 2018 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Cohen, who as President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and fixer once vowed he would "take... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:42:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - A Lincoln University student died Tuesday night in an off campus incident. According to a news... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:22:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in Top Stories
PAGEDALE (AP) — Authorities say two children were wounded in suburban St. Louis after a toddler found a pistol in... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:07:23 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are investigating after a person died from a gunshot wound Tuesday night. Wednesday the Jefferson... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 9:17:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mayor Brian Treece and other special guests will meet Monday to announce the future of Columbia’s holiday parade... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 3:29:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- Volunteer hours for the City of Columbia are down from last year. In Columbia, volunteers served 39,204 hours... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 3:10:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A second-degree domestic assault charge against Missouri Football defensive end Tre Williams will not be filed, according... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri recently joined the ranks of many colleges across the country by starting up an... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An investigation into a First Student bus concern has lead to an increased police presence in one... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After almost three years, Jefferson City now has new and improved fire trucks. Jefferson City Fire... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:03:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Neighbors on Lasso Circle in Columbia's Old Hawthorne neighborhood feel safe, but are more vigilant exactly a year... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 6:07:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
FULTON - Fulton Soup Kitchen is working to open its new location in Fulton, but a $1,700 utilities down payment... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:18:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
OZARK, Mo. (AP) — The southwest Missouri city of Ozark that had said it was removing a Christian cross from... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department is investigating a death downtown. CPD announced the investigation on Twitter just after 4... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 4:44:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An eastern Missouri doctor has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for prescribing... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:48:09 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who told officers he was planning to kill someone and was "kinda... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:42:49 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - As Missouri's Secretary of State waits for a response from the State Auditor, a political expert weighed... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:41:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
3pm 50°
4pm 48°
5pm 44°
6pm 42°