Threat of Ipava industrial hog operation rallies community to protect their health, environment and quality of life.
IPAVA, IL ”JULY 1, 2016 ”Fulton County residents gathered this week to prepare for a community battle against Runway Ridge, a proposed swine-breeding concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) owned by Professional Swine Management. The industrial-sized facility will house nearly 9,000 hogs near the town of Ipava, Illinois. Residents met with the newly formed Concerned Citizens of Fulton County to learn the facts about CAFOs and how the massive new project could forever change their neighborhood and their quality of life. The overall message of the meeting: health, environmental, economic and lifestyle problems are the norm for communities after a CAFO moves in.
The educational meeting was sponsored by the national nonprofit Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) and the statewide coalition Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water (ICCAW).
“The massive amount of urine and feces, dead animal, gases, particulates, drugs, viruses and bacteria from the barns and manure application sites have an enormous effect on the health and quality of life of nearby communities,” said Karen Hudson, a SRAP regional representative, Illinois farmer and co-founder of ICCAW.
At the meeting, Hudson discussed peer-reviewed studies and reports that expose the costly burdens CAFOs create for communities. She also guided attendees through loopholes in Illinois law, including the lack of local control that allows CAFOs to spread so easily in the Land of Lincoln.
Both Ipava and nearby Table Grove have already experienced frequent noxious odors in their communities being emitted from other recently constructed CAFOs in the area.
“This industrial CAFO planned for Ipava will generate as much raw waste as a city of 54,000 people,” said Cindy Arnett, a Fulton county farmer who is currently battling an alleged improperly permitted CAFO sited next to her Lewiston property and a populated area of homes. “It’s unbelievable that a community has almost no weight to oppose this sort of threat to their way of life, and it’s all due to watered-down regulations that have stripped local control.”
To-date, residents have collected over 150 signatures to present to the Fulton County Board for mandating a public meeting about the project. “They are ahead of the game since the Illinois Department of Agriculture hasn’t sent a notice yet to the County Board or published an official notice to start the time clock ticking,” said Hudson. “In the midst of a terrible situation, it’s one positive sign.”
The coalition plans to go on the public record opposing the operation, laying the groundwork for possible future action and advocacy for tighter legislation that would provide better protections against the hazards CAFOs create.
About Illinois Citizens for Clean Air & Water (ICCAW)
Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water, a state-wide coalition of family farmers and community groups advocating for sound policies and practices that protect the environment, human health, and rural quality of life from the impacts of large-scale, industrialized livestock production facilities in Illinois. For more information about ICCAW, please go to www.iccaw.org.
About Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP)
Socially Responsible Agricultural Project provides free, professional assistance to communities working to protect themselves from factory farms and their impact on local communities and populations, and to those who are trying to reclaim agriculture by producing and marketing sustainable agricultural goods. More information can be found at www.sraproject.org.
Cindy Arnett, Concerned Citizens of Fulton County
309-547-5363 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Hudson, SRAP | ICCAW