January 16, 2015
S.B. 249, authored by Senator Leising, would prevent counties from
passing ordinances imposing outright moratoriums on CAFOS and CFOS. As
ranking member, I chaired the committee while she presented the bill to
the Agriculture committee. The Committee did not vote on bill for a
number of reasons, not the least of which was for the reason that it
would take the final approval/decision away from local officials.
While only three counties have enacted outright bans on the location of
confined feeding operations in their jurisdictions (and one of those
has since rescinded the ban), a number have implemented so many
restrictions that they have imposed "indirect moratoriums" which
effectively eliminate livestock operations within the state.
My concerns are twofold: (1) That livestock production, which is a
principal industry in Indiana, can continue to operate under reasonable
restrictions which will protect our environment--including water
supplies, ground contamination, quality of life issues for surrounding
countryside, as well as provide a humane system of livestock
production; and (2) That I am opposed to removing local control over
land use in rural areas.
Discussions are ongoing about the necessity of extensive study of what
each of the 92 counties are doing in the area, of what is working and
what has failed to address the issues on both sides. Representatives of
the industry, the soil and water experts, representatives of local
government, members of the general public, and the environmental groups
need to be involved in this discussion. I anticipate Senator Leising's
bill will be amended into a study committee bill, but it has succeeded
in bringing the parties into the discussion. Thank you for your
continuing interest in this matter. Hopefully we can address all of
Indiana State Senator
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