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Missouri CAFO Bill Passes House, Send to Governor for Signature
USAgNet - 05/15/2019

The Missouri House on Tuesday voted mostly along party lines to pass Senate Bill 391 and send it on to Gov. Mike Parson for his signature.

Supporters of the bill said it limits how stringent county ordinances, rules and regulations for confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may be said the bill helps promote the state's agricultural industry.

It creates a consistent statewide regulatory framework for CAFOs, allowing agriculture in Missouri to flourish, they contend.

It reflects positive controls by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state Department of Natural Resources.

Among other things, the bill:

Prohibits any orders, ordinances, rules or regulations set by county commissions and county health center boards from being more strict than any provisions of law, rules or regulations relating to the state Natural Resources and Health and Senior Services departments, including environmental controls, air conservation and water pollution.

Creates the Joint Committee on Agriculture to study the economic impact of Missouri's agricultural industry in the state, as well as the industry's ongoing efforts to improve environmental stewardship and improve its economic sustainability; ways to create incentives that encourage members of the industry to adopt best practices, to address Missouri's carbon footprint scientifically; and to get Missouri residents' views on agricultural issues.

In a case of "things are upside down," Democrats argued for more local control and Republicans for state and federal control.

Democrats argued 20 counties already have implemented ordinances that regulate CAFOs. The legislation should be blocked because local officials know best how to represent local interests.

Missouri agriculture groups issued a joint statement on final passage of the bill.

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