The request for tougher odor regulations, which were last revised in 1999, resulted in a meeting this week among regulators, activists and livestock industry officials to consider revisions. State regulators conceded that measuring odor complaints and determining what constitutes a violation is an inexact science. Industry representatives argued the small number of odor complaints found to have merit suggest the system is working fine.
Complaints have included property owners near a Premium Standards Farm operation in northwest Missouri. Four months ago, a jury awarded $4.5 million in damages to three families who sued the company. The company agreed to not appeal the jury award.