CCI member Tom Willett: CAFO regulations need changing

Since Prestage was given the go-ahead to build in Wright County, six confined-animal feeding operation permits have been applied for in Webster County and one in Humboldt County, all within 3 miles of the plant site. And we have one in Cerro Gordo County, north of Ventura, that our county supervisors are courageously opposing. I hope they choose to continue to fight it.

We were repeatedly told “no more CAFOS were needed” — made out to be kooks, spreading “misinformation.” Millions of gallons of manure will be spread across the fields within miles of these CAFOs. That would’ve been here.

There was a story about how the food pantries have been cleaned out in Storm Lake. Remember being told how great the slaughterhouse was for that community? That would’ve been here.

Don’t care? Doesn’t affect you? What about your water bills doubling, or more, when communities have to put in infrastructure to remove nitrites to safe levels? Or you can buy bottled water … I wonder how much the price of that will go up when municipal water is unsafe?

What will be the ripple effects to businesses and jobs if Clear Lake and Ventura smell of manure? You don’t believe tourism will be affected?

Prestage may be gone from here, but the threat of more CAFOS is not. The laws and regulations are so weak, it’s difficult to stop them.

Ironically, the pork producers announced a glut of hogs driving prices down to the point they’re losing $10 a head currently, possibly going to $30 in the next year.

When you go to the polls, know how your representatives stand on this issue, from county supervisors to state legislators.

These regulations, particularly the master matrix regulation, on CAFOS, need to be revised and this governor and his ilk need to go when the time comes.

Tom Willett, Mason City

Published in the Mason City Globe Gazette.