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Ronda Findlay

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proposing a rule change to Missouri's Code of State Regulations 10 (CSR) 20-8.300, Design of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO's), which would exclude perched water from its definition of groundwater. (Perched water is known as temporary water bodies that commonly form between surface water and more permanent groundwater.) The rule change is being done to provide a direct benefit to a private applicant, United Hog Systems.

Corporate agriculture interests are trying to get DNR to remove the "perched water" definition from the CSR to allow corporations to obtain approval of an application for a 10,000-plus sow CAFO in Livingston County and located right next to the Poosey Conservation Area. "Perched water" causes problems for CAFOs in their usage of deep pit manure storage structures which could cause significant pollution to the groundwater or surface water as this water flows to its final destination.

If the rule is changed, this development threatens to contaminate the much less abundant usable water in Northern Missouri. (DNR states on their website: "The amount of usable water is far less in northern Missouri. Only about 12 percent of Missouri's potable water is found north of the Missouri River.")

It's not only the Livingston County area we need to be concerned about. The "perched water" rule could apply to all other wastewater treatment facilities around the state as well. All clean water could be jeopardized.

This is just another example of the harm a CAFO can do to our state. The contamination of clean air, the devaluing of homes and farms, and the damage to the health, lives and livelihoods of the residents nearby are just a few examples of the destruction they can cause.

Please write Cindy LePage at Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102 or email [email protected] to express your concerns to DNR to protect all water bodies in Missouri.

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