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Residents voice concern over proposed hog farm

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DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -North Dakota may be in for another battle over water.

This time in Devils Lake.

Hundreds of people showed up to voice their concerns about a proposed hog farm on Wednesday.

"I don't think that's going to be good for any of us," one Devils Lake resident said. 

"We see no legitimate reason for rejecting this proposal," one Devils Lake resident commented.

People in Devils Lake are divided over a Hog Farm.

"Of course frogs had three eyes, three legs and such. It's not a good thing," one Devils Lake said. 

"The livestock industry is being placed under greater scrutiny all the time," a Devils Lake resident commented.

Hundreds showed up to talk about the farm that could hold as many as 25-hundred hogs and their waste here near Devils Lake.

Today was their last opportunity to say how they think the farm could impact their health.

It's the water here on Devils Lake that people in the Spirit Lake Nation say they're most concerned about."

"Our surface water, our ground water, and our drinking water,” Doug Yankton said. 

With aquifers that stretch as far as South Dakota -- tribal leaders say it's more than the 5,000 people on the reservation contamination could affect.

"There's more people than just the area that rely on this source. It goes to two states and it'll affect 10s of thousands of people,”  Yankton said.

But farmers say technology will keep waste from escaping into groundwater.

"Modern agriculture has become well understood as a science, and poses no threat to human health or the environment when the parameters set out by the states are followed," one Devils Lake resident said.

Representatives from the North Dakota Farm Bureau and Stocksmen's Association both asked the state to allow for the farm to be built.

"To not do so would imply that emotion outweighs science. And would send a message to livestock operations are not welcome in North Dakota," one Devils Lake resident said.

But that wasn't the consensus at the meeting.

The majority of people spoke out against the project -- with only a handful saying they support it.

"I'm just sick and tired of wasting a lot of my time and money to make sure you guys do your job correctly. To me, this permit should've been pulled a long time ago," one Devils Lake resident said.

Tribe members say this farm could negatively impact the region for generations.

"They want to make another dollar and leave. But all the destruction, desecration has been done. We don't want that here,”  Yankton said.

The state has up to three months to make a decision on the project.

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