In this file:
· House sends Bernskoetter's CAFO bill to governor
· Missouri lawmakers OK limits on local industrial farm rules
· Local rules on large farms scrapped by Missouri lawmakers; bill headed to Parson's desk
House sends Bernskoetter's CAFO bill to governor
by Joe Gamm, Fulton Sun (MO)
May 14th, 2019
Supporters of the Missouri Senate bill that limits how stringent county ordinances, rules and regulations for confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may be said the bill helps promote the state's agricultural industry.
It creates a consistent statewide regulatory framework for CAFOs, allowing agriculture in Missouri to flourish, they contend.
It reflects positive controls by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state Department of Natural Resources.
"Hogwash," said opponents to Senate Bill 391, sponsored by Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City.
The Missouri House on Tuesday voted mostly along party lines to pass the bill and send it on to Gov. Mike Parson for his signature.
Bernskoetter told the News Tribune Tuesday evening: "We had several hours of debate on the Senate side, and they talked it out on the House side.
"I think it will be good for agriculture family farms and farms, in general."
Among other things, the bill:
Prohibits any orders, ordinances, rules or regulations set by county commissions and county health center boards from being more strict than any provisions of law, rules or regulations relating to the state Natural Resources and Health and Senior Services departments, including environmental controls, air conservation and water pollution.
Creates the Joint Committee on Agriculture to study the economic impact of Missouri's agricultural industry in the state, as well as the industry's ongoing efforts to improve environmental stewardship and improve its economic sustainability; ways to create incentives that encourage members of the industry to adopt best practices, to address Missouri's carbon footprint scientifically; and to get Missouri residents' views on agricultural issues.
In a case of "things are upside down," Democrats argued for more local control and Republicans for state and federal control.
Democrats argued 20 counties already have implemented ordinances that regulate CAFOs. The legislation should be blocked because local officials know best how to represent local interests.
Rep. Mike Haffner, R-Pleasant Hill, who escorted the bill through the House, argued the bill does not preempt local laws...
Missouri lawmakers OK limits on local industrial farm rules
Summer Ballentine, Associated Press
via The Telegraph (IL) - May 14, 2019
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A bill that would prevent local officials in Missouri from regulating industrial farms more strictly than the state does is heading to the desk of GOP Gov. Mike Parson, a cattle rancher who seems likely to sign the measure into law.
The Republican-led House passed the measure Tuesday on a 103-44 vote. It is directed at protecting the interests of industrial farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations, which can produce beef, pork, poultry, dairy and eggs more efficiently than traditional farms can but also stoke concerns about air and water pollution.
If signed into law, the bill would ban counties from enacting regulations for the large farms that are "more stringent" than the state's regulations. Republican supporters of the bill argued that some local governments that are unfriendly to industrial farms threaten to regulate them out of existence.
At least 20 counties have imposed additional regulations and fees on animal feeding operations through health ordinances, according to data from the University of Missouri Extension. Another nine counties and townships enacted zoning regulations.
House bill handler Rep. Mike Haffner told colleagues on Tuesday that consistent rules across the state will help family farms that shift to profitable industrial operations in order to survive.
"This is about agricultural development, it's about jobs, it's about food security and it's about consistency," the Pleasant Hill Republican said.
Passage of the bill was lauded by the state's largest farming interest groups and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
"By ensuring that farmers across all counties in Missouri have an equal and fair opportunity to utilize modern agriculture practices, this bill will help them remain competitive in the national and global marketplace," the chamber's president and CEO, Daniel P. Mehan, said in a statement.
Critics raised concerns about the loss of local control and questioned the need for change, arguing that large animal feeding operations have been successful in the state under current laws...
Local rules on large farms scrapped by Missouri lawmakers; bill headed to Parson's desk
By Jack Suntrup, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
via Richmond News (MO) - May 14, 2019
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House on Tuesday sent to Gov. Mike Parson legislation that would ban counties from cracking down on large animal feeding operations through regulations.
The legislation, sent to the governor on a 103-44 vote, forbids counties from enacting regulations on concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, that are more stringent than state standards. Groups such as the pro-industry Missouri Farm Bureau have made the legislation a priority this year.
Groups such as the anti-CAFO Missouri Rural Crisis Center support the county regulations, saying state standards are weak compared to the county rules. But industry groups say the regulations are a back-door way of ensuring large farms stay out of a county, impeding economic development.
Senate Democrats launched an overnight filibuster of the proposal last month, and eventually earned concessions in the form of setback requirements for "export-only" CAFOs, and the formation of a legislative committee that will study the environmental impacts of agriculture in Missouri.
Export-only CAFOs ship manure to other farms, where the manure is used as fertilizer. The legislation imposes regulations on where the manure can be sprayed, with the goal of protecting waterways and public lands, the Democrats said.
Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, the bill sponsor, said the proposal would stop the roughly 20 counties that already have health ordinances on the books from enforcing the rules...