Hog confinement upsets Iowa community

A community in Scott County is up and arms over a new hog confinement facility there.  Neighbors say they’re most frustrated that there’s nothing they can do to stop it.

Jeff and Roxanee Gentry’s house is just outside the city of McCausland, Iowa.

“This was it for us, this was our final home that we were going to have for the rest of our lives,” said Jeff Gentry.

For the Gentrys, their house had the perfect location with the perfect view, but that will all change in just a few months. Right across the street from their home, construction started on a hog confinement.

“Why there, when there are many hundreds of acres available?” said Jeff.

The hog confinement passed the Iowa DNR’s regulations, which say it has to be at least  1,875 feet away from the city.

McCausland Mayor Buzz Koehn says a half a mile away from the city is still too close.

“Economic development to the West is now shot, because of confinement that’s out there,” said Mayor Koehn.

The quality of air and water is another concern. Monday, October 28th, 2013, the city held an informational meeting for the public.

“The smells, the pollution from the manure, the run off, all of McCausland land is sand-point water which is shallow well, so this could have a huge impact on this area,” said Farmer, Carl Otte.

The hog confinement will have 2,400 hogs. As long there are fewer than 2,500, the facility doesn’t have to be approved by the state.

That leaves the city with very little power and few options.

“I think the rules at the state level need to change so that people in a small town such as mine, and around the rest of the state, have the right to at least protest what’s going on,” said Mayor Koehn.

The plant’s owner said he doesn’t believe the facility will have a negative impact on the area.  He plans to have the facility up and running by January 2014.

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