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Some worried bill to sync Nebraska's livestock permitting process strips local county control

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LINCOLN, Nebraska — Nebraska lawmakers will debate a bill to create a set of statewide standards for county-issued permits for livestock operations.

Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse designated the measure his priority bill after a committee voted 5-2 last week to advance the bill to the full Legislature.

The bill would create a spreadsheet of scientific standards to be used by a board appointed by the governor as criteria to review county permit decisions.

PHOTO: In this March 12, 2015 photo, a cattle operation is seen near Nebraska City, Neb. A bill by Nebraska state Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse would create statewide standards for counties to issue permits for livestock operations, which according to proponents would remove personal bias from decision making at the county level. Opponents argue that the measure strips control from local authorities who have a better gauge on the needs of the county. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
In this March 12, 2015 photo, a cattle operation is seen near Nebraska City, Neb. A bill by Nebraska state Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse would create statewide standards for counties to issue permits for livestock operations, which according to proponents would remove personal bias from decision making at the county level. Opponents argue that the measure strips control from local authorities who have a better gauge on the needs of the county. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Advocates say the bill prevents county boards from blocking operations based on bias. Opponents say the measure strips control from local authorities who have a better gauge on the needs of the county.

Opponent Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins says he will block the bill in debate if necessary.

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The bill is LB106

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PHOTO: In this March 12, 2015 photo, cattle are held in pens  at a feedlot near Springfield, Neb. A bill by Nebraska state Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse would create statewide standards for counties to issue permits for livestock operations, which according to proponents would remove personal bias from decision making at the county level. Opponents argue that the measure strips control from local authorities who have a better gauge on the needs of the county. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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