Land beyond its capacity for healthy living

To the editor:

?It is highly discouraging that the political leaders of our state and county have been heavily taxing the land beyond its ability to support healthy living. This tax will be and has been paid by the people not only in their quality of life and health, but also in expenses for the neighbors of CAFOs - the expense of attempting to maintain their own land and air quality to a reasonable standard.

One example of this short-sighted approach to business is the recently proposed 7,497-head industrial hog confinement for Penn Township in Jefferson County. This proposal is from Mr. Bill Huber, who is not a Jefferson County resident. He has ownership interest in 21 other hog confinements in four Iowa counties.

Mr. Huber is currently in a lawsuit in Des Moines County because neighbors report odors are causing them serious harm. Yet Mr. Huber claims that his proposed 7,500-head CAFO will not smell except for when manure was applied. These current lawsuits (and the use of common sense for this size of CAFO) make it clear that Mr. Huber prefers to be blind to the impact of his actions, his ownership, and his current/future proposed property. He doesn?t live here, so he doesn?t need to consider the needs or desires of the neighbors to his CAFOs.

It is interesting that JFAN reviewed the Master Matrix scoring for this planned CAFO and found several deductions that would lead to a failing score. But the political leaders of our community would prefer to turn a blind eye to these comments and allow the standards for these CAFOs to slip.

This kind of thinking is rather welcoming to large scale companies wanting to add another CAFO toilet location to their proud list of hog factories. After all, why shouldn?t these owners of CAFOs live ?high off the hog? in a place that they consider to be a much better location than Iowa?


- Anne McCollum, Fairfield