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Iowa residents band together to fight hog confinements

August 2, 2018

Des Moines Register,

Staff,

July 31, 2018-

Some northern Iowa residents have banded together to fight what they call pollution of their water and air after several failed attempts to thwart the rise of hog confinements. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the Northeast Iowans for Clean Air and Water has organized an agreement with Howard County residents to form a covenant not allowing manure to be placed on their land. Manure becomes more toxic with a large number of hog confinements.

The covenant is comprised of about 43 families, with 63 separate properties between four townships. The properties together span more than 5,500 acres. Local farmer Russ Stevenson has witnessed many changes in hog farming. He said mainly small farmers were raising pigs 30 years ago. At the time, manure was spread and then mixed with bedding to lower the concentration of toxic chemicals. Now, Stevenson said, large animal farming operations have taken over and there is more concentrated manure. Regulations on hog confinements are calculated by a point system designed to regulate separation distances from businesses, residences, churches and schools.

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