Commentary and conversations about life in Richmond, Indiana

Region and State

Nullifying local CAFO rules

From the Pal-Item, Bill would limit local control of CAFOs:

The legislation would nullify zoning rules in many Indiana counties, including Wayne and Union counties, which have rules governing the placement of livestock facilities.

Using state power to take away local control of zoning and environmental regulation is a big deal.

The rationale given by the bill’s sponsors – that we need consistency for the sake of agricultural job growth – is far from compelling.

If we were talking about an issue where there were commonly accepted practices and state law was needed to smooth out a hodge-podge of local variations, that would be one thing. But the debate over the negative impacts of industrial livestock facilities – health, environmental, economic, etc – is far from decided locally let alone state-wide, and to shut it off as a favor to one industry is clear government overreach.

I agree with Wayne County Commissioner Ken Paust, who said, “We want local control. Every county has a different situation. Individual counties ought to have that control.”

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