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Haslam Wants Speedup in Chicken Permit Processing

By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that his administration is trying to speed up the time it takes for poultry farms to get environmental permits.
The Republican governor said after a speech to the Farm Bureau that his goal is for the state to strike the “right balance between our stewardship responsibilities and making certain we’re providing product and providing jobs.”
Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said neighboring states are quicker to grant permits for chicken farms and noted that Tennessee’s rules are slightly stricter than federal standards.
“And that’s one of the problems,” he said.
Animal waste-handling permits are issued by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and Johnson said he’s been holding discussions with that agency to try to streamline the process.
“We’re competing with Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Kentucky, who are doing it faster than we are,” Johnson said. “Industry is expressing concerns.”

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