YANKTON, S.D. — Residents in southeast South Dakota are raising concerns about seven proposed hog operations that have been recommended for conditional-use permits.
About 100 people attended a six-hour session Tuesday where the Yankton County Planning Commission approved all seven permit requests. The requests now head to the Yankton County Commission for approval, the Yankton Press & Dakotan (http://bit.ly/2rAgn8d ) reported.
The permits would allow the barns to each house 2,400 animals in a concentrated animal feeding operation that confines animals in areas that don’t produce vegetation.
Opponents argued that the farms threaten environmental quality because of large amounts of manure that can contaminate water. They also say the large operations could lead to diseases like MRSA, a contagious staph infection.
“Happiness and health are (two) of the biggest quality of life things that you are supposed to watch for us,” Dan Grant, who lives near the site of one proposed barn, told board members. “Would any of you be willing to live at my house for six months after these (barns) go in?”
Farm supporters said the operations wouldn’t harm neighbors, and are efficient and profitable.
“Do you really believe (the three producers) would jeopardize their neighbors, families and friends?” said Glen Muller, executive director of the South Dakota Pork Producers Council.
A group made up of local residents, Citizens Fighting for Quality of Life, is trying to stop the development of the factory farms.
“We have to live with this, and we have to deal with it,” said Grant, who is part of the group. “It doesn’t seem like the quality of life that we are striving for is being fought for at the appropriate levels of our government, so this is why we want to get together and get the word out there.”
The county’s planning commission gave approval for the construction of three barns for Karl and Nancy Schenk, one for Craig Johnson and three for Jay Cutts.
Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan, http://www.yankton.net/