Feedlot Regulation

As massive, concentrated feedlots spread across the U.S., states are using a variety of techniques to protect their rural economies and environment. States such as Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma have enacted large scale feedlot moratoriums. Some counties have proposed or enacted rules that place various restrictions on feedlot facilities–required setbacks, public hearing process, manure management plans, lengthy permitting processes–to regulate size. In states such as Iowa where the state regulates a county’s authority to zone land or buildings for agriculture, new ordinances have been adopted to limit the spread of feedlots. The following section details these efforts and lists the rules that limit scale.

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Regulating Large Scale Feedlots – Iowa

In 1946, Iowa passed a law which prevents counties from zoning land or buildings used for agriculture, leaving authority in the hands of state legislators and regulators. In a long string of cases interpreting the statute, courts have said counties have no zoning authority over hog confinements, regardless of their size or nature. However, in 1996 Humboldt County adopted four ordinances not designed to "zone" but to address other issues necessary for the protection of the public's health.… Read More

Regulating Large Scale Feedlots – Mississippi

1998 Senate Bill 2895 was signed by the Governor on April 13, 1998, that included provisions that placed a moratorium (with exeptions) on any permits for new swine concentrated animal feeding operations or the expansion of exisiting concentrated animal feeding operations.… Read More

Regulating Large Scale Feedlots – North Carolina

North Carolina House Bill 515 was passed by both houses of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., on August 27, 1997. The major points include: a 2-year moratorium on new hog operations; larger set-backs; county government authority to zone large hog operations; mandates that local governments sharply reduce nitrogen and phosporous discharges into rivers; and an EMC directive to complete management plans for the state's 17 major river basins.… Read More
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Lisa Gonzalez

Lisa Gonzalez researched and reported on telecommunications and municipal networks' impact on life at the local level. Lisa also wrote for MuniNetworks.org and produced ILSR's Broadband Bits podcast.