Two new hog farms are looking to call the Stateline home, residents fight back

Local News

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — Two hog farms may be coming to western Winnebago County, but neighbors aren’t excited about the possible new addition.

“There’s a lot of risk to the citizens and the environment from this,” said Winnebago County resident, Dennis Johnson. “You’ve got an emission and health problems for the residents, easily within a three mile radius of each of those, and then you’ve got the concern for the environment.”

Dennis Johnson and Kelly Burchfield have been advocating to stop the hog farms’ development.

“It’s our children as well as our elderly we’re concerned about,” said Kelly Burchfield.

Burchfield said that infrastructure is at risk too.

“We have small county roads, they can’t handle the traffic of the big semi’s daily,” she said.

The pair’s biggest fear is manure impacting the nearby Sugar River.

“All that gets washed out into the environment,” Johnson said. “These sights are very close to the Sugar River Natural areas itself. You’ve got ground water contaminated, service water contamination and aquifer contamination and it includes disease causing bacteria.”

Nic Anderson with the Illinois Livestock Development Group said farms legally have to control it.

“We are not allowed to discharge. One of the ways we do that is with construction and design and we’ll have deep pits that will contain all the manure from that farm that produced on an annual basis and it will be used for crop production as fertilizer typically during the fall,” Anderson said.

The farms are still awaiting approval from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

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