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July 13, 1999

Governor Signs Large-Scale Livestock Legislation

PEORIA -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed landmark legislation establishing guidelines for the zoning and operation of large-scale hog farms.

"For everyone in Illinois -- this is an historic day," Ryan said. "Senate Bill 1199 strikes a proper balance and addresses concerns on all sides of an issue that has been paralyzed in the General Assembly for more than two years. This legislation will keep our agricultural economy moving forward while making sure that these large operations do not endanger the environment or harm the quality of life."

The legislation follows the criteria for large-scale livestock operations outlined during Ryan's campaign for governor:

  • Construction of any facility cannot begin until after a public meeting has been held and the county board has made a non-binding recommendation about the proposed construction to the Department of Agriculture.

  • Construction also cannot begin until the Department of Agriculture has certified that the owners and operators' plans have met eight citing requirements.

    The designs and plans for these facilities must meet all necessary registrations and permits; cannot endanger the surrounding environment; cannot be incompatible with the surrounding area; must have stricter controls if the site is within an environmentally sensitive area; must minimize the likelihood of spills and run-offs; must have an acceptable odor control plan; must have a minimal effect on existing local traffic; and must be consistent with other local projects involving community growth, tourism, recreation or economic development.

  • The residents of a county or the county board can order a public hearing on the proposed operation.

  • Regulation of these facilities will be divided between the Department of Agriculture and the Pollution Control Board. The PCB will establish the final rules on construction standards. Agriculture will establish the final rules for other provisions.

  • The legislation contains language governing equal setback distances for livestock operations from both farm and non-farm residences and closure requirements for all livestock facilities.

  • The legislation addresses common ownership, fines for failing to report livestock waste spills and releases; and closes an existing loophole that brings the regulation of non-lagoon facilities under the act.

    The agreement was reached in late March by state, local and industry representatives after several weeks of negotiations.

    "I applaud the work of the legislature and all those involved in negotiating this agreement which benefits not only the agriculture industry but the entire state," Ryan added.

    Senate Bill 1199 was sponsored in the Senate by John Maitland, R-Bloomington; James "Pate" Philip, R- Wood Dale; Todd Sieben, R-Geneseo; William O'Daniel, D-Mount Vernon; George Shadid, D-Edwards; Carl E. Hawkinson, R-Galesburg; and Laura Kent Donahue, R-Quincy.

    Representatives Michael Smith, D-Canton; Donald Moffitt, R-Gilson; Ronald Lawfer, R-Stockton; Ricca Slone, D-Peoria Heights; and Richard Myers, R-Colchester were the House sponsors.

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