Victory In Center Point
Matt Ditch Withdraws Factory Farm Application Under Pressure from Community
Proposed Maschhoff Pork Site Did Not Meet Legal Requirements for a Permit
Linn County resident Matt Ditch withdrew his application for a construction permit to build a giant 5,600-head factory farm site near Center Point Tuesday after widespread community opposition organized by local Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) members highlighted enough flaws in his submitted Master Matrix score to prove to both Linn County and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that the application did not meet the legal requirements for a permit.
“The applicant withdrew his application this morning after my staff advised him that he did not score enough points on the Master Matrix to be issued a permit,” Bill Ehm, the DNR’s Environmental Protection Division Administrator, told a group of more than 50 local-area residents last night in Center Point at a meeting organized by Iowa CCI members.
Iowa CCI members were quick to cut Ditch’s decision as a victory for organized people and vowed to continue to pressure Ditch and Maschhoff Pork to drop any future plans to re-apply.
“We are united and we will not tolerate any more factory farms in our community,” said Regina Behmlander, a CCI member from Center Point who has helped galvanize community opposition to the proposal. “We will continue to fight any attempt by any party to build corporate factory farms which pollute our air and water and ruin our quality of life.”
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