10-year permits for CAFOs clear S.D. Senate

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — State senators voted 27-7 Monday to double the length of permits to 10 years for concentrated animal feeding operations in South Dakota.

The livestock-feedlot legislation now goes to the state House for a committee hearing. Senator Mary Duvall, a Pierre Republican, led the argument for the change from the current five years.

“That doesn’t mean we’re going to issue the permit and hope for the best,” she said.

State inspections range from annually for large CAFOs to every three years for small ones. Minnesota adopted the longer-running permit in 2012.

“At this point, they have had no problems with this,” Duvall said. 

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources administers the CAFO program.

Governor Kristi Noem has ordered a merger that would create a new state Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Duvall said county governments still have “full authority” to set county zoning regulations.

Senate Democrat leader Troy Heinert of Mission opposed the change, calling it “extremely troubling.” He said a community can change “a lot” in 10 years.

Senate Republican leader Gary Cammack of Union Center said citizens can file a complaint against a CAFO site “every day” during the 10 years. “I don’t believe we’re putting the process in jeopardy,” Cammack said.

Democratic Senator Reynold Nesiba of Sioux Falls asked Duvall a question Nesiba said he couldn’t answer: How does Minnesota’s inspection schedule compare to South Dakota’s? Duvall didn’t know.

Republican Senator Joshua Klumb of Mount Vernon spoke from his experience as a livestock producer: “It just makes less paperwork every five years.”

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