KC Commissioners Vote To Increase CAFO Setbacks And Allow For Exemptions
By Echo Menges
Friday morning, April 15, 2011 the Knox County Commissioners voted to increase the setback distances between concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and occupied dwellings.
For a Class I CAFO the setback from an occupied dwelling has been increased from one mile to two miles.
For a Class II CAFO the setback from an occupied dwelling has been increased from a half mile to one and three-quarter miles.
For a Class III CAFO the setback from an occupied dwelling has been increased from a half mile to one and a half miles.
For a Class IV CAFO the setback from an occupied dwelling has been increased from a half mile to one and a quarter miles.
The motion to increase the setback distances was made by Eastern District Commissioner Terry “Red” Callahan who also voted in favor of increasing the setbacks along with Western District Commissioner Terry Marble. Presiding Commissioner Evan Glasgow voted against the increase in setback distances between CAFOs and occupied dwellings.
Callahan also motioned to increase the setback distance between Class IV CAFOs. All three Commissioners voted for the increase in distance from Class IV to Class IV CAFO from one quarter mile to one half mile.
Glasgow motioned for a change in the wording of Section Eight of the KC Health Ordinance involving the transfer of existing, grandfathered in, CAFOs. Existing CAFOs were only able to be transferred to another member of the owners immediate family to be exempt from the new laws. With the new changes existing CAFOs can be transferred into anyone’s name and still be able to keep the grandfathered in status allowing owners to sell their CAFOs to someone outside of their family. The amendment to Section Eight passed with Glasgow and Marble voting yes and Callahan voting no.
Glasgow also motioned for an addition, Section 5.3, to be added to the KC Health Ordinance, which allows for the first time since the conception of the KC Health Ordinance, a variance or exemption from the ordinance.
The newly admitted Section 5.3 states: A CAFO may secure a variance from the setback requirements of occupied dwellings by getting the written consent of all owners of all occupied dwellings within the setback area. This written consent must be filed with the County Commission prior to the issuance of construction permit.
Section 5.3 passed with Glasgow and Marble voting yes and Callahan voting no.
No motion was made and no vote was taken concerning the spreading of animal waste in Knox County.