DES MOINES – In January 89 of Iowa’s 99 counties notified DNR that they plan to evaluate construction permit applications and proposed animal confinement locations by using the master matrix.
With few exceptions, most counties will use the matrix during the next 12 months. The following counties will not use the matrix in 2019: Davis, Des Moines, Keokuk, Lee, Mahaska, Osceola, Plymouth, Wapello, Warren and Washington.
Animal producers who need a construction permit before building in these counties must meet stricter requirements than confinement producers planning to construct in other counties. Producers qualify by choosing a site and using practices that reduce impacts on air, water and the community.
Counties that adopt the master matrix can provide more input to producers on site selection, and proposed structures and facility management. Participating counties score each master matrix submitted in their county and can recommend to DNR to approve or deny the construction permit. They can also join in DNR visits to a proposed confinement site.
While all counties may submit comments to DNR during the permitting process, counties that adopt the master matrix can also appeal a preliminary permit to the state Environmental Protection Commission.
The deadline for enrolling in the program is Jan. 31 of each year.
The master matrix applies to producers who must get a construction permit to build, expand or modify a totally roofed facility. Generally, these are confinement feeding operations with at least 2,500 finishing hogs, 1,000 beef cattle or 715 mature dairy cows.