Governor Signs Law to Limit Hog Waste

Article excerpt

Gov. Jim Edgar on Tuesday signed a law placing restrictions on hog farms so that large waste from the animals has to be flushed into man-made lagoons.

Neighbors of the farms often complain about the overpowering stench downwind, and environmentalists worry about concentrated waste working its way into ground water.

Some communities have seen the waste leach into rivers and kill hundreds of fish. Illinois hasn't had such accidents, but northwestern Missouri has, said Mark Gebhards, executive director of the Illinois Pork Producers Association, which supports the Illinois law.

The Missouri Legislature has passed a similar measure, and it is expected to be signed into law.

Edgar said the new law should satisfy both neighbors and environmentalists without putting the hog farms out of business. "I think the key is to make sure that we allow this industry to exist in Illinois, but in a manner that it does not pollute our environment, that they do not become bad neighbors," Edgar said.

One of the Illinois measure's sponsors, Sen. Laura Kent Donahue, R-Quincy, said the hog farm legislation zeroed in on faulty farmers. …