Iowa’s livestock doesn’t smell too bad, contrary to the claims of numerous citizen activist groups. Trained environmental specialists finished a three-year study on airborne pollutants from animal feeding operations, including pork, beef, dairy and facilities.

The overall result is: Odors related to livestock operations topped the odor benchmark in just 7 percent of the 1,708 measurements taken from 2002 through 2005.

Only one ready topped the level that would give state regulators a reason to set odor limits for Iowa’s livestock operations, which is very unlikely.

St. Croix Sensory of Lake Elmo, Minn., screened and certified the environmental specialists taking the odor measurements. The group used portable scentometers to measure the odors.

The measurements topped a benchmark based on other states' limits in 7 percent of the 1,708 measurements taken from 2002 through 2005. Specialists detected slightly more odor, 11 percent, near fields with land-application of manure.

Livestock industry representatives say this study shows that the state's setback distance requirements for livestock confinements are working. While opponents, particularly the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, claim the study is flawed and are still calling for odor regulations.

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Des Moines Register