Responding to a Tuesday, Feb. 21, article in Ink Free News, State Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Warsaw) clarified some issues pertaining to his proposed HB 1494 regulating confined feeding operations for the state’s farmers.
The article stated, “The bill changes the language from obtaining approval to merely getting a permit.”
“An approval by definition is a permit,” said Wolkins. “Changing from approval to permit provides clarity because of the existing definitions of permit, permit holder and permittee.
“A permit requires meeting a definite set of written requirements.
“Approval could simply mean a handshake, a phone call or a written letter. A permit leaves no doubt as to what is required for the proposed action.
“Permit is clearer and more restrictive than approval.”
Wolkins is crafting an amendment to further spell out parameters of the permit process, and HB 1494 will be submitted for a vote by the full house Thursday, Feb. 23.
Wolkins also said the new law “does not change any current requirements with respect to the 1/2-mile notice.
“Those statutory provisions adopted by the General Assembly in the past decade apply specifically to construction or expansion of the livestock or poultry production structure or the manure storage structure. The bill changes nothing.”
Wolkins also said a CFO cannot “double in 10 years” without a new permit. “Neighbors would be notified” of the process, he said.
Finally, Wolkins contended IDEM’s discretion in denying permits is not limited to “errors in the applicant’s paperwork.”
“Nothing in the bill restricts IDEM from denying the permit. There are many reasons a permit can be denied,” he said.