Oklahoma's governor has signed three bills into law that may loosen the reins on pork production growth.

One bill addresses the permitting steps for new or expanding swine finishing operations once the state has reviewed the application. Two other bills address testing restrictions of dry monitoring wells and redefine what is considered a manure spill or discharge, according to the Tulsa World newspaper.

Under the permitting bill, individuals who object to a propose pork production facility must state what specifically they oppose. Hearing officers will have more power to limit the scope of hearings and decide jurisdictional issues, cites the newspaper.

Among the benefits in this action is the potential to keep costly delays from tying up the process. For example, a license approved in March was originally filed in 1997. It's estimated that the new process will cut hearing time for license applications by 75 percent.

The Sierra Club of Oklahoma and other environmental groups strongly object to the legislation.

Tulsa World newspaper