The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

State News

April 6, 2010

Missouri: Court overturns Arrow Rock hog ruling

The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri appeals court on Tuesday overturned a ruling that blocked a proposed hog farm from expanding near Arrow Rock.

A Cole County judge blocked the farm from expanding so near the historic central Missouri village, but a three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District dismissed the case because the permit required to expand the farm expired more than a year ago.

The Kansas City-based appeals court also ordered opponents of the farm expansion to pay court costs.

The Missouri Parks Association and village of Arrow Rock sued after state environmental officials granted a permit in 2007 for a hog farm to expand several miles from the historic central Missouri village. That permit expired in August 2008.

Cole County Judge Patricia Joyce in 2008 blocked a concentrated animal feeding operation from being located within 15 miles of the historic central Missouri village. She later narrowed the buffer to two miles and barred existing farms in that radius from expanding.

An attorney who represented Arrow Rock and the Missouri Parks Association has said the village set on Missouri River bluff is a national historic site that the Department of Natural Resources has a duty to preserve.

Parks Association President Susan Flader said the ruling is disappointing and that an appeal is likely. She said the organization’s board would need to decide whether to continue the case.

“It’s a real setback — if it stands,” Flader said.

The Department of Natural Resources estimates there are more than 400 concentrated animal feeding operations in Missouri. Currently, larger livestock farms must be set off from public or inhabited buildings. The biggest farms have a 3,000 foot buffer zone.

The Missouri Farm Bureau, which sought to join the lawsuit but initially was denied, applauded the appellate court’s ruling.

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