Poultry protection bill up for subcommittee meeting

H3929 is TODAY on agenda for House Ag Subcommittee
(D) An applicant, permittee, licensee, and an affected person who has exhausted all administrative remedies within the department relating to a decision to issue or deny a permit, license, certification, or other approval of a poultry facility or another agricultural animal facility, except a swine facility, and who is aggrieved by a final decision is entitled to appeal the decision pursuant to Section 1-23-380. The cost to appeal a decision is five thousand dollars.

The SC House of Representatives Agriculture Subcommittee today is taking up a measure - H3929 - that would dramatically raise the amount of money citizens would have to pay to protest a poultry operation.

Laurens County State Rep. Mike Pitts, and others including the committee's chairman, have introduced the measure. Opponents say - if passed by the General Assembly - it would strip away what few protections rural communities have against large, industrial chicken raising operations. The Agriculture Subcommittee has H3929 on its agenda for a meeting now (2:30 pm, April 18). The subcommittee chairman is Steve Moss, members are Lucas Atkinson, Bill Chumley, Gregory Duckworth and Russell Ott.

Chicken farming proponents say they need the legislation so they will not be subjected to "frivolous" appeals of permits before the SC Department of Health & Environmental Control Board. DHEC inspectors have review jurisdiction over chicken farms and the haulers that take away chicken manure, and spread it over farm lands. Residents of Mountville, and people who live elsewhere but own land in the rural community, have fought a 2-year battle to stop what they consider to be the over-saturation of chicken houses in their rural area (7 miles south of Clinton, off Hwy 72 toward Greenwood).

A meeting was held this week between local lawmakers and Mountville residents.



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