How much do you know about the poultry industry in South Carolina?
Did you know that it brings in $12 billion a year, more than one quarter of our state’s agribusiness, and employs around 7,500 people?
The Palmetto State is buffered by other leading poultry farming states. In North Carolina, the industry produces $36.6 billion in economic impact and employs more than 125,000 people. And Georgia is a large producer as well.
That’s a great boost to the rural economy in the southeast.
H. 3929, the Agricultural Animal Facilities bill, is a proposed amendment to the appeals process for decisions by the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) concerning certain ag animal facilities.
When a farmer chooses to establish a facility on their land, the permitting process involves certain regulations including setbacks from adjacent properties. Landowners near those farmers can petition DHEC to evaluate those plans to ensure the rules are being met, and appeal decisions they do not agree with.
H. 3929 does NOT in any way reduce or take away a person’s right to appeal a decision by DHEC to issue a permit, but it does clarify the language about who can make that appeal.
For example, a landowner several miles away, or even someone out of state would not be able to contest the decision.
The proposed bill could also require vegetative setbacks in areas where the established setback from property lines had already been met.
The appeals process can be lengthy and expensive, often burdensome to farmers. Therefore, this bill would require each and every affected person to pay the filing fee and prevent an association of known and unknown persons from paying a single filing fee.
Show your support for South Carolina’s poultry farmers. Tell the House Agricultural Committee to support our family farmers by supporting H. 3929.