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April 20, 1999


SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that legislation governing the construction of large livestock facilities has passed the House Agricultural Committee and will move on for consideration by the full House.

"This bill represents the best efforts of many people to keep our agricultural economy moving forward while making sure that these large operations do not endanger the environment or harm the quality of life," Ryan said. "This is an agreement that everyone concerned with the future of the state's agricultural economy can live with."

The legislation, contained in Senate Bill 1199, follows the criteria for a large-scale livestock operations that Ryan outlined during his campaign for governor: 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 everything else.

  • 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, and unanimously passed the Senate on March 25, 1999. Representatives Michael Smith, D-Canton, Donald Moffitt, R-Gilson; Ronald Lawfer, R-Stockton; Ricca Slone, D-Peoria Heights; Richard Myers, R-Colchester are the House sponsors.

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