Supervisors OK, pass CAFO plans on to DNR

Confinement project in exceeds master matrix minimum

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship Kent Krause, president of Pinnacle, an agronomic and environmental consulting firm based in Iowa Falls, talks about proposed Summit Farms LLC project which would bring two new buildings with 4,999 pigs to the site. Krause spoke at a public hearing on the project at the Hamilton Count Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday morning.

A public hearing on a proposed new hog confinement project in section 23 of Blairsburg Township was held Tuesday morning during the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors meeting.

A handful of people turned out for the meeting, though there were no verbal objections to the project. County Auditor Kim Schaa noted that one person had dropped off some articles at her office but no other written objections were noted.

Kent Krause, president of Pinnacle, an agronomic and environmental consulting firm based in Iowa Falls, was on hand to explain the project and the master matrix scoring for the location.

“We prepared the permit and matrix scoring for Summit Farms,” he said. “This is a new site with two buildings that will house 4,999 pigs.”

Krause said the site is projected to produce 1,600,000 gallons of manure per year. He said there were two fields in the manure plan which have been scored on Iowa Phosphorous Risk Index.

“They have scored in the best category. Right now there’s field capacity of just shy of 2.5 million gallons. There’s plenty of land in the manure management plan,” Krause said.

The two structures will be 100 feet by 193 feet and will be deep-pitted buildings with roofs, so the manure is completely covered, he said.

Krause said the site scored above the minimum requirements of the master matrix, a scoring system that is used to evaluate the siting of permitted confinement feeding operations. The minimum acceptable score is 440 and the Summit Farms site scored 485 points. The scores are based on a series of criteria including distances from other buildings, water sources and manure management plans.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Campidilli said he met on site and went over the master matrix requirements. All site measurements matched up closely, he said.

“Everything was in order, in my opinion. They met all of the requirements,” he noted.

Supervisor David Young reminded the audience that the role of the supervisors is to just verify the information provided.

“We have to determine do they meet the state requirements,” he said. “Most sites just meet the minimum, so we appreciate the effort achieve higher scores.”

The board voted to approve the request and pass the application on to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for final approval.

In other business, the board received information about another hog confinement feeding operation in the Ellsworth area. The new one building site would have under 1,000 head and therefore does not require the master matrix, according to the supervisors. No action was needed on the matter and the supervisors said the matter was discussed to provide the public notice.