Air Quality and Community Concerns with Swine Expansion

Russ Euken, Livestock Field Specialist, Northeast Area

Problem Statement:
The EPA came to agreement with the NPPC and other groups on enforcement of the Clean Air Act, CERCLA and EPCRA air quality legislation with respect to swine facility potential emissions. Producers did not understand the agreement being offered and the emission levels being regulated.
In addition there were two producers who were expanding the operation and getting some opposition from neighbors and the community. One producer was building in a county that still had an ordinance on the books that would not allow the facility to be built unless there was a waiver of the ordinance.
Programmatic Response:
Iowa Pork Industry Center had held a webcast meeting concerning the air quality agreement being offered by EPA. Many producers still had questions and when the sign up period was extended two additional meetings were organized and 55 producers attended. Several producers who had considered signing the agreement decided not to because they understood their operation was of a size that would likely not come under regulation. Others better understood the agreement and signed the up.
The two producers who were expanding came to Extension seeking information and assistance. Steve Hoff was contacted to assist in air quality modeling and siting. Other information was provided to the producers who in turn provided that to neighbors. One producer did change the location of his new facility and both of them were able to build without additional problems.
One of the producers wanted the community to better understand his operation and worked with the local chamber of commerce to host a tour of his existing operation. The producer and chamber asked Extension to help provide information and education about modern pork production. About 62 people attended the tour and many commented that they were impressed with the operation and before the tour had a negative impression of modern pork production but had changed their minds.

The 55 producers attending the air quality session and another 13 who called one-on-one seeking information were better informed and made a better decision on the air quality agreement. Two producers were able to build their facilities and were able to put at ease neighbor, community and local officials concerns. Individuals on the tour were able to see and form a favorable impression of modern pork production.
April 2006
108 Iowa Pork Center

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