Cedar County officials feel slighted by their elected representatives in the passage of Senate Bill 391 which negates the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation ordinance which the Cedar County Commission so carefully researched and passed three years ago. County officials will tell you that they are not anti-agriculture, their law just requires a reasonable distance between a CAFO unit and an occupied residence, a stream, a town and a large body of water. County officials say they have not refused to let any CAFO be built since they passed the ordinance and have had no complaints. Cedar County required a $1,000 deposit which they used to have the county surveyor verify the setbacks then returned any left over funds to the applicant.
Senate Bill 391 says, “Under this act, any orders, rules or regulations promulgated by county commissions and county heath boards shall not impose standards or requirements on an agricultural operation and its appurtenances that are inconsistent with or more stringent than any provisions of law rules or regulations relating to the Department of Health and Senior Services, environmental control, the Department of Natural Resources, air conservation or water pollution.”
While this bill was being debated in Jefferson City, Cedar County officials emailed every representative and senator and Governor Parson voicing their opposition and asking that the Cedar County rules be grandfathered. Northern Commissioner Don Boultinghouse spoke with Rep. Warren Love, who Boultinghouse said has tried to get this law passed every year since he got elected. Boultinghouse said that when he saw he was getting nowhere with Love, he asked if Cedar County could be grandfathered. He said Love indicated that was a possibility but the final draft of the law which Governor Mike Parson signed does not grandfather any of the 20 counties which have passed ordinances controlling the placement of CAFOs and goes into effect Aug. 28.
All of the major agricultural organizations supported the bill.
As a way of showing his protest, Boultinghouse said he told the Cedar County Farm Bureau board that when his term on the board is up in October, he will not accept reappointment. Peggy Kenney has done the same. Boultinghouse said he probably will keep his membership in Farm Bureau because he has insurance with them. He will resign from Missouri and National Cattlemen Associations.
Cedar County Presiding Commissioner Marlon Collins said that he emailed every representative and senator stating his case in opposition to Senate Bill 391 and never heard back from any of them. He was particularly displease with being ignored because he is the chairman of the Cedar County Republican Party, campaigned for each of those politicians, put out signs for them and donated to their campaigns.
Cedar County Clerk Heather York was the first one the Sun called about the matter and she was as disappointed as any of them at the way Cedar County was treated.
The Sun received a call Monday morning from Pam in Senator Sandy Crawford’s office who said the senator reported, “I talked to several people in Cedar County and there were mixed opinions on the bill.”
The Sun spoke with Rep. Warren Love who said that Cedar County and the other 20 counties, “hijacked” a law that was meant to control human waste.
He told the Sun that Cedar County’s only option for controlling the placement of CAFOs is to vote in a zoning ordinance.
Presiding Commissioner Collins, who is not in favor of planning and zoning, said that everybody in the state is at the mercy of DNR, which is understaffed, to keep someone from building a swine, beef or chicken CAFO right across the fence from your house.
Collins said that before the County Commission passed its ordinance, a hog feeding operation went in southeast of El Dorado Springs and For Sale signs went up all along (Jack’s Tavern) Road 501. That operation has since gone out of business, but there is no guarantee that it won’t reopen or someone won’t set up one across the fence from you under Senate Bill 391.
Walt and Barbara Truitt are a prime example of what happened to them in Vernon County where there are no rules on the placement of CAFOs. They are literally “stunk” out of their home by a hog operation.
The Sun sent Rep. Love a copy of this article. This is his response:
“Thanks for giving me a heads up on your news article on the very controversial SB 391. I would add a few comments if you would allow. All of which are factual. “
“All of the major agricultural organizations in the State supported the bill. Several of them were Farm Bureau, Missouri Cattlemen, Pork Producers, Corn, and Soybean Associations.”
“The three major Associations in opposition were HSUS (Humane Society of the United States), Missouri Rural Crisis Center and the Sierra Club.”
“Senate Bill 391 was truly agreed to and finally passed the House the last week of Session. Vote count was Yes 108, No 41 along party line vote. Governor Parson signed the Bill formally into law May 31st and again signed it Ceremonial at the Missouri Cattlemen’s Annual Steak Fry & PAC Auction at the Sedalia State Fair Grounds on June 8th with about 700 MCA members in attendance.”
“The Sun spoke with Rep. Warren Love who said that Cedar County and the other 20 counties, “hijacked” Statute 192.300 a law that was meant to allow County Commissioners and County Health Boards to control human waste water systems and regulate food handling facilities such as Restaurants.”
“The Statute before revision read:
192.300. The county commissions and the county health center boards of the several counties may make and promulgate orders, ordinances, rules or regulations, respectively as will tend to enhance the public health and prevent the entrance of infectious, contagious, communicable or dangerous diseases into such county, but any orders, ordinances, rules or regulations shall not be in conflict with any rules or regulations authorized and made by the department of health and senior services in accordance with this chapter or by the department of social services under chapter 198. The county commissions and the county health center boards of the several counties may establish reasonable fees to pay for any costs incurred in carrying out such orders, ordinances, rules or regulations, however, the establishment of such fees shall not deny personal health services to those individuals who are unable to pay such fees or impede the prevention or control of communicable disease. Fees generated shall be deposited in the county treasury. All fees generated under the provisions of this section shall be used to support the public health activities for which they were generated. After the promulgation and adoption of such orders, ordinances, rules or regulations by such county commission or county health board, such commission or county health board shall make and enter an order or record declaring such orders, ordinances, rules or regulations to be printed and available for distribution to the public in the office of the county clerk, and shall require a copy of such order to be published in some newspaper in the county in three successive weeks, not later than thirty days after the entry of such order, ordinance, rule or regulation. Any person, firm, corporation or association which violates any of the orders or ordinances adopted, promulgated and published by such county commission is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be prosecuted, tried and fined as otherwise provided by law. The county commission or county health board of any such county has full power and authority to initiate the prosecution of any action under this section.”
“As far as Vernon County rules in CAFO’s they do comply with the State Department of Natural Resources Guidelines of which I forwarded you a link to use for reference.”
Warren D. Love”