IEC Legislative Update

CAFO Hearing

Since mid-2016, the Chicago Tribune has been publishing an investigative series highlighting the many human and environmental harms caused by confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). One shocking revelation came from IDNR records that show that half of all fish kills in Illinois rivers are related to spills from livestock operations.

In response to these reports, and numerous complaints to legislators from farmers living near CAFOs, Senator Dave Koehler introduced legislation to address some of these concerns this Spring. While these bills did not move forward, a subcommittee was created to further study the issue. On the morning of Tuesday, November 7, a subject matter hearing was held to discuss these issues and give impacted neighbors a chance to share their stories.

The panelists supporting changes to the Livestock Management Facilities Act (LMFA) to improve oversight and siting of CAFOs included Prairie Rivers Network Executive Director Carol Hays, Attorney Danielle Diamond from the Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water, Farmer Cindy Arnett from Fulton County, and Farmer Karen Hudson from Peoria County.

Each of these experts testified about the lack of transparency of the LMFA process, and the frustration local residents experience when seeking to stop inappropriately sited livestock operations. Many of the experts also discussed potential solutions to ending pollution from these facilities.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency also testified about current regulations. Finally, a panel of livestock farmers discussed the need to protect their family farms.

Senator Koehler, who sponsored the LMFA reform legislation, ended the hearing by reiterating his goal, which is to protect family farmers in all form – both those with livestock operations and those impacted by them. He expressed concerns about out-of-state, or often, out-of-country, owned factory farms that don’t follow the rules and cause concerns for neighbors.

Read more about the hearing and CAFOs in the Chicago Tribune.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get IEC updates sent directly to your inbox
and stay current on all the environmental news in Illinois.

IEC Legislative Updates

Legislative Update in the Wake of COVID-19

As you probably know, we typically send out updates on the status of the environmental legislative agenda on a weekly basis during the legislative session. However, these are not typical times and it feels wrong to go about business as usual when we are all so focused on the gravity of threats posed by the coronavirus, COVID-19, in our communities.

IEC 2019 Veto Session Review

During this session, IEC focused on demonstrating public support for the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) and addressing ethylene oxide pollution.

2019 End of Session Update

The 2019 Illinois General Assembly legislative session ended on Sunday, June 2. IEC is proud to announce it was one of the most successful ever

Join us

Get updates on our issues