Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed HB 1957 into law, eliminating setbacks on water permits for all swine facilities in the state, effective Nov. 1, 2011.

Passage of the law culminates 10 years of work by the Oklahoma Pork Council (OPC) and its members.

The new legislation provides these changes:

  • Completely eliminates setback provisions for swine facilities from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board statutes;
  • Creates a three-mile setback from recreation sites with annual registered attendance of more than 2,000 people;
  • Creates a one-mile setback from recreation sites with annual registered attendance of 2,000 people or less; and
  • Requires all swine facilities housing more than 250 head of mature hogs to obtain a license from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.

“Passage of this bill should provide Oklahoma pork producers with an opportunity to address the need for more water – either through ground or surface water permits,” says Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr., OPC executive director. “We started trying to address the challenges posed by this section of law in 2000, and we’ve finally managed to get a significant change adopted by the legislature and signed into law by the governor.”

For more information, go to www.okpork.org.