Nebraska ranchers have until the end of next month to review and make comments on proposed new regulations.
The draft of the Nebraska Livestock Siting Assessment Matrix covers a wide variety of issues, according to matrix committee member Mark McHargue.
“We have quite a number of questions that would relate to things that are already necessary, DEQ permitting, nutrient management plans,” McHargue says. “We did spend a fair amount of time looking at some odor models, size of operations, setbacks and all those types of things.”
He says the committee assembled the draft in such a way that it would be useful for counties across Nebraska.
McHargue says, “We want it robust enough that if a county wants to use this to replace their livestock siting regs, they could take this document, this matrix, and really replace something or use it if they don’t have regs already in place.”
McHargue says there’s a lot of technical terminology used in the document, but that was necessary.
“You get into some of your odor-type issues and setbacks, we wanted to make sure there was some science around it,” he says. “As people look at the draft we have proposed, we’re hoping people will really take a look at it, see if it makes sense when they read through it, even though it’s a technical document.”
McHargue says his committee wants to be able to tweakthe matrix to make it the best tool possible going forward.
Comments must be submitted by July 31st to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. The final publication of the assessment matrix must be completed by August 30th.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton