DNR postpones hog expansion vote

State officials on Monday postponed a vote scheduled for next month on a change that, if approved, could have greatly expanded the state’s hog industry.

Kevin Chambers, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said the rule change, requiring strict environmental rules if hog farms exceed 7,500 hogs, “will be subject to further review and study.” Farmers want the ceiling raised to allow 12,500 hogs per farm.

Environmentalists and others feared huge commercialized swine operations would lead to environmental and health problems.

“We are pleased that DNR has recognized the threat that this proposed rollback posed to Georgia’s water quality and community health,” said Lauren Joy, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

DNR board members were expected to vote on the rule change Dec. 3.

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