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Dear Editor:

Missouri Senate Bill 391 (SB 391) summary — "Under this act, any order, ordinances, rules, or regulations promulgated by county commissions and county health center boards shall not impose standards or requirements on an agricultural operation and its appurtenances that are inconsistent with or more stringent than any provisions of law, rules, or regulations relating to environmental control, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), air conservation, and water pollution."

This bill would remove all vestiges of local control over Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs). Current federal rules and state DNR regulations do not protect local citizens living near CAFOs. CAFOs can apply waste from their operation right up to the property lines of homes and of water sources of persons living near them. In addition, there are no air quality standards for CAFOs with less than 17,500 hogs, 7,000 cattle or 875,000 chickens. (That really stinks!) There are no setback requirements between CAFOs and populated areas.

Without local control to develop and enforce requirements to protect air and water quality, CAFOs under SB 391 would pose a hazard to the health of citizens living near them and destroy the property values of nearby land owners.

SB 391 is sponsored by our own Sen. Mike Bernskoetter. Mr. Bernskoetter needs to be reminded that he is supposed to represent the constituents living in his district and not corporate CAFO owners, many of whom are foreign based. Missourians are fortunate to live in a beautiful state with numerous small, family-owned farms. This bill, if passed, would contribute to the destruction of that rural character and the heritage that all Missourians cherish.

I encourage others to let Sen. Bernskoetter know how they feel about this bill and his sponsorship of it. Sen. Mike Bernskoetter Email: [email protected]

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