Idaho lawmaker Representative Bert Stevenson has introduced state legislation that would put the oversight of all poultry confined-animal feeding operations under the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

Currently, poultry regulation falls under the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, but the department only gets involved in operations with 200,000 birds or more. This number has recently caused difficulties for Magic Valley counties, including Twin Falls, Jerome and Cassia, which have pending applications from poultry operations for fewer than 200,000 chickens, said Stevenson. “There is no way now for those counties to issue a permit for the poultry facilities because the department of agriculture cannot sign off on their nutrient and management plan, and DEQ says, ‘We don’t have any rules or regulations that tell us what to do with it.’”  

The bill is currently before the House State Affairs Committee.