CAFOs harm people, animals, water

To the editor:

1) The scoring session for Daniels? CAFO Master Matrix was announced via a brief Fairfield Ledger article on Aug. 7 and a tiny public notice on Aug. 9, less than a week before the Aug. 13 meeting took place. This demonstrates a lack of due process.

2) I am told that the supervisors spent time considering the objections Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors (JFAN) raised but then decided to reject *all* of them. This demonstrates a lack of due process, a lack of common sense and possibly a bias. Details:

The Daniels site scored itself at 505 points on the Master Matrix. JFAN identified four issues for a total of 70 points that should be denied, reducing the Master Matrix to 435 points which is not enough for the application to be approved.

JFAN actually urged the supervisors to not approve any points they felt questionable because the DNR would review a failed application and make the final decision but they wouldn?t review a passed one. Supervisor Lee Dimmitt gave many of JFAN?s points a closer look. Supervisor Dee Sandquist acknowledged the Master Matrix was flawed yet felt there wasn?t precedence for using higher standards Rosenberg and others urged. In the end, Supervisor Dick Reed made a motion to pass it at the full 505 points, and all three supervisors voted in favor of granting all points.

A public hearing gives constituents an opportunity to speak out about a proposed CAFO and potentially provide additional information for the supervisors to consider in scoring the Master Matrix. By denying a public hearing, the supervisors have cut themselves off from public redress and further education on the issues.

3) I favor animal farms but oppose animal factories. I oppose CAFOs because they degenerate the health of people, animals, and our water. Details:

The EPA states that confined hogs generate three times the amount of raw waste as humans. If you live within 2 miles of a CAFO, your air may stink. If you live near a field where manure will be applied, it may stink there too. Numerous studies done by the University of North Carolina show that people living within two miles of a CAFO tend to experience wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, excessive coughing, nausea, diarrhea, sore throat, eye irritation, headache, runny nose and weakness.

The DNR impaired water list shows that (1) children can?t play in many streams without concerns of exposure to E. coli or other bacteria produced by manure being washed into the stream and (2) Iowa has some of the worst waterways in the nation due to the 751 manure spills that have occurred since 1996. (DNR statistics)

We need to re-evaluate the Daniels Site Master Matrix.


- Mac Muehlman, Fairfield