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Let the people decide

Published: Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 11:05 a.m. CST

From Karon Finn


We, the people, ultimately should have the final decision for or against the hog confinements in our neighborhood.

In an article by Kyle Wilson in the Creston News Advertiser it states:

"The proposed hog confinements will now be evaluated by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR ultimately has the final decision for or against the hog confinements."

The DNR has the final decision because the Iowa Legislature (our elected officials) gave them that authority.

In 1995, Gov. Terry Branstad and the Iowa Legislature took away local control of the siting of large confinements and gave the authority and restrictions to the DNR with a final appeal to the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC). One of the members of the EPC (Brent Ratstetter) was appointed by Gov. Branstad. On the construction permit submitted by Mike Taylor for the hog confinement in southeast Union County is Brent Ratstetter's signature as his company will be building part of the confinement.

In October 2010, when asked by a Webster County farmer about the issue, Gov. Branstad replied "Local control is something that won't ever happen in Iowa."

We, the people, should have the final decision. Give local control back to our local supervisors. Our elected officials have an obligation to protect our neighbors from someone who lives somewhere else harming them.

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