Knox County Commission Adopts Class IV (300-1000 Animal Unit) CAFO to County Health Ordinance

By Crystal Howerton

After much consideration, the County Commissioners voted to include a Class IV CAFO in the Knox County Health Ordinance on Monday, October 1, 2007.
   The Commissioners felt that they had made an error by excluding Class IV Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) in the original ordinance, adopted in March 2006.  In addition, they have made six amendments to the ordinance.  "We have made our decision, taking both views into account," explained Presiding Commissioner L.P. (Pete) Mayfield.  "We realize that while everyone will not be happy with the changes we have made to the ordinance, we feel that we have made these amendments in the best interest of our county."
The following amendments were made to the Knox County Health Ordinance effective October 1, 2007.  They may be viewed in their entirety on the Knox County website www.knoxcountymo.org after October 15, 2007 or copies may be purchased at the County Clerk’s office.
1.22 Populated Area The definition of a populated area has been modified, identifying "a town, village or incorporated area having at least ten occupied dwellings not on CAFO property, as measured in a straight line from any of the occupied dwellings to the nearest CAFO confinement building, confinement lot, or other confinement area, or waste handling facility."
5.1 Setbacks distances from one CAFO to another have been included for Class IV CAFO’s, specifying a distance of one mile from a Class I or II CAFO and one-half (½) mile from a Class III CAFO or another Class IV CAFO.
5.2 The setback distance from a Class III CAFO to an occupied dwelling has been changed from one-fourth (¼) mile to one-half (½) mile.  In addition, the setback distance from a Class IV CAFO to an occupied dwelling has been placed at one-half (½) mile, as well.   "NO CLASS CAFO shall be located within two miles of a populated area.  This setback shall increase one-fourth (¼) mile for each 500 AU (or fractional portion thereof) of authorized capacity in excess of 2,000 AU."
6.2 Cash or Surety Bond The cash or surety bond schedule for a CAFO with one lagoon has been changed to include the following:  Class I — $7,000; Class II — $5,000; Class III — $2,500; Class IV — $2,500.  Plus an additional $2,000 for each additional lagoon.  The cash or surety bond schedule for a CAFO with one manure pit and no lagoon has been changed to the following:  Class I — $5,000; Class II — $2,500; Class III — $1,000, Class IV — $1,000.  
10.2 Administrative Fees The administrative fees have been altered to the following:  Class I — $10,000; Class II — $2,000; Class III — $1,500; Class IV — $1,000.  All fees for Class I – Class IV must be maintained after expenses incurred.
11 Violation of Ordinance The punishment for violation of the health ordinance is specified as follows: "Any person violating this ordinance is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and shall be subject to punishment by imprisonment or fined as provided by law.  Each day a person operates a CAFO in violation of this ordinance, and each time a person applies animal waste or animal waste water in a manner inconsistent with the requirements of this ordinance, shall be considered a separate offense."