Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Play

Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.

Play

A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Communities in Limbo as ND Decides on Large Farming Operations

Play

Wednesday, February 28, 2018   

BISMARCK, N.D. — Could large hog-farming operations be on the horizon for North Dakota? The state Department of Health is clearing the way for them, by deciding on changes to pollution-control rules from animal feeding operations.

Two hog farms proposed for eastern North Dakota have local residents concerned they'll be picking up the environmental tab.

Janelle Engstrom is an agriculture and food task force member with the Dakota Resource Council. She lives near one of the sites, and spoke at a public hearing in Bismarck last week on the proposed changes. One of her biggest concerns is deleting a rule that now requires large operators to report annually on things like manure production.

"The North Dakota Department of Health is saying, 'Go out there and do whatever you want because you won't have to report on it anyway,'" she says. "And that's something that we know would have a big impact on what those producers are doing, if they do not have to report on it."

Engstrom says another change - not to count weaning piglets at these operations - would lead to more waste. Locals are worried the Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) could contaminate nearby Devil's Lake and affect their livelihoods. The farm operators say it has economic benefits for the region.

The Department of Health is accepting public comment on the rule changes through March 2.

Roy Thompson is a member of Concerned Citizens of Buffalo who lives near the other proposed CAFO. At last week's meeting, Thompson brought up similar issues to Engstrom, noting the large amount of manure that will be produced and what that means for surrounding communities. He says the Department of Health should keep local residents in mind when deciding on CAFO permits.

"It's industrial pork operations that have their sights on North Dakota," he says. "And the main thing we were concerned about is, are the local landowners and these little communities being protected, and do they have a voice in this?"

Engstrom adds she isn't opposed to farming and is a farmer herself. But she's concerned these operations will change the face of family-owned farming in North Dakota, and that industrial-scale hog farms are likely to expand in the state once they set down roots.

"These people are knocking on the door in North Dakota and they're wanting in, and it's up to us to try to keep them out, because it's going to be bad for North Dakota," Engstrom warns.


get more stories like this via email

Black Americans are the most likely to suffer from insufficient sleep. (ChadBridwell/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

March is Sleep Awareness Month and health experts say Americans are not getting enough of it. United Health Foundation data found more than 32% of …


Environment

Environmental groups are seeking greater input as California puts the finishing touches on its application to become a hub for hydrogen fuel productio…

Social Issues

This month marks 160 years since the first Medal of Honor was awarded by President Abraham Lincoln. More than a dozen of the 65 recipients alive …


According to The Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation, 3,514 men and one woman have won the Medal of Honor in service of their country from the Civil War to the present day. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

160 years ago, Civil War soldiers were awarded the first Medals of Honor. Now, a Medal of Honor Monument will soon be built on the National Mall in …

Social Issues

The meat processing industry continues to face scrutiny over labor practices in states like Minnesota. Proposed legislation would update a 2007 law…

A report published in late February says children of mothers who are abused or neglected were more likely to demonstrate symptoms and behaviors linked to depression, along with other health issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

New findings suggest health effects stemming from child maltreatment can be passed on to the next generation. In South Dakota, leaders in early-…

Social Issues

Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle will pay workers at its former location in Augusta, Maine as part of a settlement over labor law violations…

Environment

One Arizona mayor is among the more than 2,800 elected city officials in Washington, D.C., this week for The National League of Cities' Congressional …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021