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Letter: Hog farm a danger to community’s reputation


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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Cassie Perry

Hartsville

Did you know that it would take 14,326 people using the same outhouse or open pit in the ground each day to equal the amount of manure that a 4,400-head hog factory will produce and store in a day? This is about 32 percent of the population in Columbus. There is a conditional use application going before the Board of Zoning Appeals for a hosting site for such a factory that can hold 303,318 cubic feet or 2,253,653 gallons of hog manure a year in an open 10-foot pit underneath an 82-by-411-foot building. This hog factory would be located less than half a mile south of the Anderson Falls Nature Preserve. The air inside this factory is toxic. It contains ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, methane and cyanide. Huge fans pump these toxic gases into the outside air. The smell is bad, but it’s the toxins that will make you sick. Residents in proximity of this factory are subject to chronic respiratory problems and even neurological problems.

Can you imagine Columbus surrounded by hog factories? If you think it could not happen, think again. There’s not just one application for one of these factories, but there are two. On the www.columbus.in.us website it provides a list of what makes Columbus an “Award-Winning City.” Among the list is Forbes magazine describing Columbus as the “Athens of the Prairie” (March 2012). In addition, Forbes named Columbus as one of the “Best Small Cities to Raise a Family” in November 2010, but what would Forbes say if we surrounded our city with manure factories?

If this concerns you in any way, please attend the next Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on June 23 or the special one for the second application.

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