County to appeal DNR ruling on hogs

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has approved a construction permit application for a 5,000-head swine finishing unit in Section 7 of Norway Township, close to the town of Thor. On Monday, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors agreed to file suit in district court to stop the development, saying that a commercial business is located less than one-quarter of a mile away.

By Kent Thompson
Humboldt County will be challenging a decision by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to grant the construction of a 5,000-head, two-unit confined animal feeding location two miles northwest of Thor in Section 7 of Norway Township.
At Monday’s weekly Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board unanimously approved filing an appeal in Humboldt County District Court to approval of the Barn Owl LLC site on Texas Avenue. The animals would be owned by Iowa Select Farms, a pork production company with headquarters in Iowa Falls and Des Moines.
At Monday’s meeting, new information came to light that might help support Humboldt County’s challenge of the DNR in court.
David and Diann Stensland, who live at 2931 240th St., Thor, were at the meeting and said their commercial business, Iowa Farm Business Services LLC, is conducted out of their home, which is less than a quarter of a mile from the proposed site. The business has been in operation since July 2013. David Stensland said himself and his daughter, Lynsy Harrigan, operate the business. He said while much of the business operation is now located in Humboldt, they still have people come to their farm north of Thor to do business.
Stensland said the confined animal feeding operation’s 30 point score on the Master Matrix should be lowered to 5 points, because it is less than 500 feet from the minimum separation distance from a commercial business.
A lower score would put the construction permit below the 440 points necessary to pass the master matrix evaluation.
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