- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

BROWNSTOWN, Ind. (AP) - A southern Indiana farmer has won permission from county officials to build a facility housing 4,000 hogs, even though dozens of residents are protesting the plans.

A Jackson County zoning board voted 4-0 to approve the confined feeding operation for a site a couple miles north of the town of Crothersville. The vote about 1:25 a.m. Wednesday followed six hours of public comments before a crowd of more than 100 people who packed a courthouse meeting room, The Tribune of Seymour reported (https://bit.ly/1vzNtVC ).

Many facility opponents told the board they were worried about odors, truck traffic and possible water contamination to wells and the nearby Muscatatuck River from stored manure.

Trina McLain said she had health concerns about the hog facility being about a quarter-mile from her home and that it would harm the quality of life for nearly 500 homes in the vicinity.

“This is a very populated area, and most of these homes will be downwind from this site,” she said.

Farmer Kyle Broshears said the hog facility would be built as far as possible from the closest home in the area about 40 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky.

His plans call for spending about $900,000 on the facility that would include an 81-by-417-foot building housing the hogs and a concrete pit holding about 1 million gallons manure.

Broshears’ proposal still needs approval from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. He said construction could begin next spring or summer.

Complaints about Broshears’ plans echo those about similar large hog farms around the state. Neighbors of a proposed facility in neighboring Bartholomew County have file a lawsuit seeking to block its construction, while a judge this summer ruled against a lawsuit against four large hog farms in eastern Indiana’s Randolph County.

Jackson County zoning board members said the proposal met the county requirements and is in an agricultural zone.

“If these confined feeding operations decrease your property (value), where are the people in Jackson County who live by these who have had their property decreased?” board member Sherry Bridges said. “If I lived by a CAFO and I lost $20,000 on my home, I would be in here jumping up and down on the table.”

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Information from: The (Seymour) Tribune, https://www.tribtown.com


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