Noem Unveils Bill To Streamline Permit Process For Rural Development

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem used Friday’s start of the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City to unveil a bill to establish statewide protocols for the permit process for feedlots, other agriculture projects and energy development.

Noem says “rural development projects are vital to the long-term success of small towns, communities, and the families that keep them strong, (but) too often are delayed or even killed by cumbersome and unnecessary permitting processes.”

The former Republican Congresswoman believes her bill “sets up a fair process that will give developers certainty and predictability for processes, allowing them to cut through red tape and invest in communities and families for generations to come.”

She says it creates vitality and success for rural development by providing clarity around existing laws on permits, simplifying the voting process for conditional use permits, improving the appeals process – including allowing the court to award attorney’s fees and damages – and keeping zoning decisions in the hands of those who know the community best.

Feedlots, also called cafos or concentrated animal feeding operations with thousands of animals in a confined space, have sparked controversy in communities across the state as the number has grown in recent years. Opponents say they cause odor and other environmental problems while supporters point to the added economic opportunities feedlots bring.

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