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.”


Hi – I’m Chris Hardie. I live and work in Richmond, Indiana.

I have started and run a small business here, volunteered for a variety of local not-for-profits, run for elected office, improved historic buildings and generally spent a lot of time and energy trying to make it a better place.

I already have a blog and personal website over at I’ve written a lot there about life in Richmond, Indiana (recently, Richmond’s Next Mayor), but I also write there about travel, gadgets, U.S. culture and politics, media and advertising, and various other topics that I’m interested in. I think that makes that site less engaging for those primarily interested in my writing about Richmond, and I also think it makes me less likely to write about Richmond topics in a focused way there.

So, I’m going to try out a site that’s dedicated to commentary on life in Richmond, Indiana. Okay, I might throw in some stuff applicable to the broader region, but always as it relates to the local community.

I’ll try to keep these reflections brief and to the point. Sometimes I’ll just link to stuff that others are writing. Sometimes my ideas might be half-formed. My goal is not to have everything figured out, just to keep the conversation going.

I hope you’ll be a part of it.