January 23, 2010

Mr. Dennis Crane, Chairman Mr. Paul Christensen, Commissioner Mr. Clay Handy, Commissioner Cassia County Board of County Commissioners Cassia County Courthouse 1459 Overland Ave. Burley, Idaho 83318 Greetings Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, Let me begin by sending my sincere apologies for not being able to be in attendance for your public hearing on Cassia County’s proposed chicken CAFO ordinance on January 11th. I had every intention of being there! However, an unforeseen emergency situation developed on the Friday prior to your hearing, and I was unable to arrange a substitute representative in that time frame. The emergency situation was this: We are currently at the table with various stakeholders on Negotiated Rule-Making on Pathogen Drift from Dairies Utilizing Pressurized Irrigation Systems. We discovered last moment that ISDA did not have the technology available to facilitate a Skype presentation on Tuesday 1/12/10, that we had arranged by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers (who were, at that time, in Bermuda conducting research). I spent the better part of the day of your hearing at ISDA with our I.T. expert and ISDA’s head I.T. person, addressing these technical issues . None of our members in Cassia County were able to be in attendance due to work schedules. That said, one of my members was kind enough to send me the audio C.D. of your deliberations and I have just finished listening to the recording in its entirety. Based on that recording, I have several items that I would like to address. My hope is that these comments will prompt the Board to hold an additional hearing on the proposed change from a 4 mile biosecurity radius between facilities to a 2 mile biosecurity radius for facilities with 50,000 birds or less. 1. I would like to extend ICARE’s sincere thanks for the Board’s evident careful and thoughtful consideration of our comments. However, listening to the recording of the hearing, it was also evident that the Board or someone else had discussed the changes proposed in our comments prior to the hearing and had already settled on the changes that the Board would adopt. I am slightly troubled by this: as the discussion is not on record, there is no way for ICARE (or anyone else, for that matter) to track how and why the decisions to adopt certain changes and leave others were made. ICARE respectfully requests that the Board hold another hearing to discuss—on the record—comments submitted prior to the last hearing, and publicly deliberate the merits and rationale of accepting or rejecting proposed changes 2. Contrary to the lack of public discussion about ICARE’s proposed changes, the Board did have an extensive discussion about a change—proposed by industry representatives—to roll back the draft ordinance’s 4-mile biosecurity radius between facilities to 2. However, during the discussion, no logical reason was presented for the proposed change other than

industry’s preference. Instead, representatives of Hy-Line and Magic Valley Poultry argued that the biosecurity area was “just for biosecurity.” In ICARE’s opinion, this circular argument does not provide an adequate basis for the Board’s decision to implement a substantial change to P&Z’s draft ordinance. The Board had no discussion and heard no testimony about what, exactly, “biosecurity” is or why the draft ordinance called for a biosecurity zone in the first place. The Board did ask a P&Z Commissioner who was present about P&Z’s deliberations on this matter, but it did not publicly review the record. Based on the question posed to the P&Z Commissioner, it appeared that the Board did not review P&Z’s deliberations pertaining to biosecurity areas before implementing the change. All of this is in stark contrast to the treatment given changes deemed “unsubstantial” that were recommended by ICARE and adopted by the Board. If industry’s proposed changes were truly not substantial, it is difficult to understand the concern about the possibility of appeal evident on the recording. The Board was clearly uncertain about whether the change was substantial, yet chose not to return the matter to P&Z for review. Based on this, we request that the Board hold another hearing to determine whether industry’s proposed change is indeed substantial. The hearing should include presentations about the reasons for biosecurity as well as a detailed review of evidence, testimony, and other pertinent information related to biosecurity. If, based on the evidence presented, the Board decides that the change is substantial, it should be returned to P&Z for review. Thank you for your consideration. Respectfully submitted,

Alma Hasse, Executive Director ICARE PO Box 922 Fruitland, ID 83619

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