Springfield City Council backs off on public stance against CAFOs

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield City Council has now joined with Greene Commissioners by backing off from a public stance against Missouri Senate Bill 3-91.

That legislation takes away local control from local governments to regulate big industrial farms called CAFOs.

Tonight the council narrowly voted down a resolution that would have affirmed a commitment to maintaining our local control.

Several people, including a top environmental advocate, a former Springfield fire chief, and a MSU biology professor all spoke about the negatives of CAFOs.

They argued waste runoff from pigs and cows could get into the ground and affect our drinking water.

But the council was divided on the resolution.

“I think as a governing body, we should have and determine our own destiny,” Councilman Abe Mcgull said. “That’s what the founding fathers of our nation intended. This is not an ordinance. We’re just saying that we believe in local control.

“We should be the most concerned community in the state of Missouri, because of our topography,” Councilman Craig Hosmer said. “Pollutants get in our water, we’re all drinking it in Southwest Missouri.”

Mayor Ken Mcclure says people shouldn’t worry about CAFOs for several reasons.

“Passing this resolution, in my opinion, will not help our community and it may well hurt it,” McClure said. “The focus of attention on the proponents should be on the legislators that supported the bill, not a city council that can do nothing about it.”

Greene County already has an ordinance in place to regulate them.

And treatment facilities do a good job of testing the water.

Mcclure also says if we fight state lawmakers on this issue we could potentially lose local funding for an expo center or our universities.

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