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Hoosiers Seek Answers To Questions About CAFOs

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

 Residents from about 10 central Indiana counties were in Columbus Monday to hear from experts on the impacts of large confined animal feeding operations known as CAFOs.

The talk brought out concerned residents in Bartholomew and surrounding counties.

It was organized by Indiana CAFO Watch and the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project.

Retired University of Missouri agricultural economist John Ikerd was one of the speakers.

Ikerd says he quit working on market research for industrial agriculture after seeing what he says are negative impacts on people and the environment.

"It's not reasonable to say that you have to leave your home just simply because somebody, your neighbor, has all of a sudden decided he's gonna build a big hog factory next to you," he says. "That's not a legitimate argument to say, 'Well, you can just pack up and go.' "

The State Chemist also explained new water quality controls.

Attendees asked questions about current regulations and how to strengthen them.  Most concerns focused on odor and water quality.

The meeting came as Bartholomew County leaders continue to hash out changes that would make CAFO regulations in their county more strict than some neighboring counties. 

The commissioners will take a final vote on the proposals next month.

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