The permitting process for large-scale livestock operations is getting attention in the North Dakota Legislature. The State Health Department approved high-profile projects in Buffalo and Devils Lake, but local zoning boards intervened. State Senator Terry Wanzek is seeking more certainty with these rules. “What we’re trying to do with this bill is say you can’t keep delaying or changing the goal posts after the fact,” said Wanzek. “When someone makes an application for a permit and petitions the local township or county, the rules that are in place at that time are locked in and you can’t change the rules after someone seeks a permit to locate there.” Wanzek sees an opportunity for economic growth in North Dakota. “We have a lot of open space and cheap feed here; it just seems like we’re ripe to be competitive.” The bill has passed in the Senate 38-to-seven and will move to the House.
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