WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Adams County to Vote on Hog Confinement

Mar 7, 2013

An environmental activist thinks the Illinois Agriculture Department has too much control over the approval process for large scale hog farms.

The latest such facility proposed for this region is in Adams County.

The  Adams County Board will vote at its next meeting whether or not to support the confinement. Danielle Diamond said the Illinois Department of Agriculture makes the final decision and it rarely gives the county board vote much weight.

Diamond is an attorney for Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water.  She said the Ag. Department approves almost all permits and is not sensitive enough to environmental concerns.

"If there's anything i would advocate for in the state of Illinois, is to let people make decisions about what the goes on on their own communities," Diamond said.

Diamond recommends the now non-binding votes by county boards, be made binding. She said the proposed 5,000 hog confinement in Adams County would produce as much waste as a town of 15,000 people.

If the state approves the new confinement, Diamond said Adams County residents's only recourse would be to sue the the owners of the new facility.