With the passage of Missouri Senate Bill No. 391, Nodaway County Health Center Administrator Tom Patterson is looking at the next steps the health board needs to take in consideration of the local ordinance pertaining to large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO).

SB391 was signed by Governor Mike Parson on May 31.

The area of interest in the bill is 192.300 which states “County commissions and the county health center boards … may make and promulgate orders, ordinances, rules or regulations, respectively as will tend to enhance the public health and prevent the entrance of infectious, contagious, communicable or dangerous diseases into such county, but any orders, ordinances, rules or regulations shall not: … “2. Impose standards or requirements on an agricultural operation and its appurtenances, as such term is defined in section 537.295, that are inconsistent with or more stringent than any provisions of this chapter or chapters 260, 640, 643 and 644, or any rule of regulation promulgated under such chapters.”

The health board enacted a CAFO ordinance for Nodaway County in 2006.

The “purpose of the ordinance is solely to protect the health of the citizens who live and work in Nodaway County by supporting adequate air and water standards for CAFOs,” Patterson said.

Patterson is having lawyer Jennifer Snider of Witt, Hicklin and Snider, Platte City, review the county ordinance to determine what needs to be changed in the ordinance or what steps need to be taken. The impact of SB391 will be studied by the health center board over the summer. The bill goes into effect on Wednesday, August 28.

Discussion has been held over the past year as to how the county CAFO ordinance has prevented the county from receiving “Agri-Ready” status by a group called Missouri Farmers Care. Nodaway Economic Director Josh McKim said large farm-based operations won’t consider Nodaway County because of the ordinance.