CAFO's, MOARK and Doyle Childers
Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Director, Doyle Childers was in Newton and Jasper County for public hearings on Friday, Januray 5, 2007. The Joplin Globe, Saturday, January 6, 2006, Water Issue Dominates Session, described a meeting with MOARK Officials regarding their three notices of violation that have been issued due to offensive odors. MOARK has not been fined. Childers said that 'companies like MOARK are being told what to do in order that they understand it and get it right. The MDNR will not be very friendly if they don't comply'.
Childers said that he is not in favor of individual counties adopting their own Confined Animal Feeding Operation(CAFO) ordinances. Somone in the audience said that health ordinances are needed in local counties because the state is incapable of regulating the growth of CAFOs. This individual cited evidence that there are 160 million chickens and turkeys in the Elk River and Spring River watersheds. Childers was asked whether there is a saturation point, and he responded by saying "That's a tough question."
In response to a question about water usage, Childers said 'that the MDNR has no legal authority to control water usage in Missouri, a state with riparian water laws in which usage and private-property rights are regulated by the courts.' He added that there is discussion under way on how to best monitor and measure nutrient loading into streams. He said that depletion of ground-water resources in Southwest missouri could become a critical issue 10 to 20 years from now. He added, "We need to impound every drop of water we can."