Ten counties skip master matrix on confinements

    For the third straight year, 10 counties have declined to adopt a state checklist meant to protect the neighbors of animal-confinement operations.

    The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports that 89 of 99 counties have indicated they will use the master matrix to evaluate construction permit applications and proposed sites for animal confinements through Jan. 31 of 2021. That means producers in those 89 counties will have to lay out more detailed plans about how they will limit pollution and other effects on the community in a screening process, but the state will retain full power to decide where confinements are located and regulated.

    The only counties to decline the checklist system were: Davis, Des Moines, Keokuk, Lee, Mahaska, Osceola, Plymouth, Wapello, Warren and Washington.

    The checklist is intended to reduce confinements’ effects on the environment and the community, according to state regulations. Counties must adopt the matrix annually to continue to use it.

    Perry Beeman
    Senior reporter Perry Beeman has nearly 40 years of experience in Iowa journalism and has won national awards for environmental and business writing. He has written for The Des Moines Register and the Business Record, where he also served as managing editor. He also is former editorial director of Grinnell College. He co-authored the recently published book, "The $80 Billion Gamble," which details the lottery-rigging case of Eddie Tipton.