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Calendar of Events

Get in some outdoor time. Our Sierra Club Groups in Iowa regularly plan outings and other activities.  Select a Local Group in the My backyard dropdown menu and get details of the outings groups have planned.  

 

Clair Tappaan Lodge Outings

 

Need to get away?  Check out the activities being offered at the Sierra Club's Clair Tappaan Lodge at the Sierra Nevada of California mountains in the middle of the Tahoe National Forest.

 

 

What interests you?

The Iowa Chapter developed a survey to find out what our members and supporters are interested in. This will help us better understand how to contact you when your issue arises. We'd love to hear about what matters most to you, what issues you're involved in, if you have time to work with us, and more!

Please take a few minutes to complete our survey.

 

Volunteer Page

News about volunteer activities and upcoming projects.   Click here for more information.

 

 

News Releases

Read recent Sierra Club news releases.

 

 

Web Archives

Information that has been moved off the front page.

 

 

2013 Legislation

Are you interested in what is going on with our lawmakers in Des Moines? See the Legislation that is of interest to you, your environment, and your community. Find out more and respond to our action alerts.

 

Manure Spills and Fish Kills

Find out where the latest manure spill and/or fish kill occurred here...

 

 

Fish Advisories Posted

The Department of Natural Resources has posted fish consumption advisories for nine sites.  Find out where they are here...

 

Bypasses

Excess rainwater or snow melt need somewhere to go.  Often, the sewage bypasses a treatment plant thus preventing sewage from backing up into basements. Facilities are required to report bypasses caused by mechanical failures to the DNR within 12 hours of onset or discovery. Facilities do not have to immediately report bypasses from precipitation events, but must include them in their monthly operating report to the DNR.  Click here to see the most current information about your city's bypass history this year.

 

 

The Green Life

Tips for living well and doing good.

 

 

Corporations Are Not People

The Sierra Club has joined a coalition to advance the efforts to amend the constitution so that corporations are not persons.  Find out more and sign the MoveToAmend petition.


 DONATE TO THE IOWA CHAPTER

The Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club now accepts PayPal so you can help financially support Iowa Sierra Club's objectives for clean air, clean water and a cleaner environment.

Make a non-deductible donation to the Iowa Chapter.

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You can also make a tax deductible donation to the Iowa Chapter.

NEWS 

Loess Hills Seminar

The 2014 Loess Hills Prairie Seminar has been scheduled for the evening of May 30 and until noon June 1 in northwest Iowa.  Find out more.

Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy

The Iowa Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University has released its Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.  The strategy is supposed to include plans for reducing the amount of Nitrogen and Phosphorus that flow from the Mississippi River watershed into the Gulf of Mexico, where the pollutants contribute to the dead zone.

The strategy, however, addresses a reduction in Nitrogen and Phosphorus resulting from non-point sources (primarily agriculture) by voluntary compliance, more research and additional technology.  

Read the strategy document.  Be advised that the Nutrient Reduction Strategy is 197 pages long.

The Iowa Chapter submitted comments on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy are being accepted. Read the Iowa Chapter's comments.  Read EPA's comments.

 

2012 Iowa Scientists: Drought Consistent with Climate Change

Iowans can expect more extreme weather like the 2012 drought thanks to changes in the climate caused by greenhouse gases. That’s according to a statewide group of Iowa scientists who believe that Iowans should act now to reduce economic costs due to climate change.  Find out more.

 

EPA Representatives Meet to Discuss CAFO Permits

UPDATE: The EPA has posted its draft work plan agreement with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  The Iowa DNR has yet to sign it.  See the draft agreement.

Region VII EPA representatives met with members of Sierra Club Iowa Chapter and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement in Des Moines in October.  David Cozad, Regional Counsel, and Karen Flournoy, Water, Wetlands and Pesticides Division director, heard from those affected by CAFOs and answered questions.

The meeting was part of an ongoing effort to keep communication lines open between EPA and members of three organizations who filed a dedelegation petition in September 2007 that would strip the Iowa DNR of its authority to manage federally mandated water permitting programs.  

EPA Region 7 in Kansas City also accepted comments on  regulation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in Iowa. Officials wanted to hear from members of the public about the problems with CAFOs and how CAFOs can be better regulated to protect the public and the environment.  

Read the comments submitted by Sierra Club Iowa Chapter, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the Environmental Integrity Project, the three organizations that filed the dedelegation petition that prompted the investigation.  

EPA has posted documents on its website pertaining to the investigation. Read all public comments submitted.

Go to our CAFOs page to learn more.

 

EPC Takes No Action to Extend Ban of Manure on Soybeans

On October 16, 2012, the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) decided not to permanently extend a rule banning the application of liquid swine manure to soybean fields. 

In 2006, then-EPC members passed a rule limiting the application of swine manure to soybeans at the rate of 100 pounds per acre, and completely banning the application in five years. The commissioners stipulated that further research would be examined at the end of five years to determine if scientific evidence supported a full ban.

The results of three studies presented to the EPC indicated a full ban should be implemented. All three studies conducted by Iowa State University indicate that nitrate concentrations are higher in waters draining from soybean fields where swine manure is applied than when the manure is applied only to corn.

EPC’s decision to do nothing results in continuation of the rule that the application of swine manure to soybeans will continue to be restricted to 100 pounds per acre.

Nitrogen and phosphorus in the water draining into the Mississippi River contribute to the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Find out more about the new research and why applying liquid swine manure to soybeans must be stopped.

 

Taylors Honored by Sierra Club

Wally and Pam Mackey-Taylor of Marion recently received the national Sierra Club’s Susan E. Miller award at the Sierra Club’s annual meeting August 4 in San Francisco.  The Susan E. Miller Award honors exceptional contributions by individual Sierra Club members to chapters in organization or management.

Both Pam and Wally have volunteered their time in various capacities with the Chapter, including both of them serving as Iowa Chapter chairs at different times.  A Cedar Rapids attorney, Wally currently serves as Legal Chair.  Pam presently chairs the Fundraising committee and co-chairs the Energy committee with her husband, Wally.

Find out more.

 

Share Your Piece of America

Sierra Club launched My Piece of America, where we encourage you to share your favorite outdoor place and take action to protect special areas.

Many of our favorite wild places -- from the striking red rock deserts of the Southwest to the cool, leafy city park where you take your kids -- need your help to protect them from threats like oil drilling and climate change.

One way you can help right now is by urging President Obama to designate some of America's best wild places as national monuments.

Upload and share a photo of your favorite piece of America with your family and friends, and inspire them to take action, too.

 

 

Sierra Club Challenges Constitutionality of Legislative Rules Review Committee

On March 21, 2012, the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit in Polk County District Court alleging that the Iowa Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee (ARRC) is unconstitutional. The Sierra Club alleges that the Iowa law creating the ARRC violates the separation of powers in the Iowa Constitution because it authorizes the ARRC, a legislative oversight committee, to suspend the implementation of an administrative rule legally adopted by the executive branch of government.

The rule being challenged in the lawsuit was adopted by the Natural Resource Commission in July 2011.  The Commission amended its dove-hunting season rule to ban the use of lead shot. The ARRC allowed the hunting season but delayed implementation of the ban on lead shot until legislators could address the ban during the 2012 legislative session.

“We have three separate and equal branches of government,” said Wally Taylor, the Cedar Rapids attorney representing the Sierra Club. “The legislative branch through the ARRC cannot constitutionally stop the actions of the executive branch acting through the Natural Resource Commission.”

In February, the House of Representatives adopted a resolution permanently prohibiting the ban on lead-based ammunition.  The Senate resolution has not yet been debated.

In addition to the Administrative Rules Review Committee, the lawsuit names the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for implementing the unconstitutional rule.

UPDATE:  Gov. Terry Branstad issued Executive Order 77 that rescinded the portion of the rule that banned lead-based ammunition to hunt Mourning Doves. Sierra Club will be dropping its lawsuit against the ARRC. 

 

Clean Water Report Card

See how Iowa's delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives scored on Sierra Club's Clean Water Report Card.



EPC Chair Says "There are Two Sides to Every Fact"

David Petty, the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) chair, scolded Glori Dei Filippone, a 13-year-old girl, for being a vegetarian at the June 2011 EPC meeting.  Petty also warned Glori to be sure to have her facts straight because "...there are two sides to every fact."  Glori made a presentation to the Commission after petitioning the Department of Natural Resources to enact rules to regulate greenhouse gases in Iowa.  The EPC voted down the petition.  See the video shot by Kent Newman of Full Spectrum Productions.

See Glori's presentation.

 

 

Ask the Gov

Gov. Terry Branstad launched his weekly video initiative in 2011 where he answers questions submitted via Twitter, Facebook, email and via his website.  Watch the governor's videos or send in a question.  See the video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club's members are approximately 5,000 of your friends and neighbors. Inspired by nature, we work together to protect our communities and the planet. The Club is America's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2008 Sierra Club. The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.

Last updated 04.16.2014

 

 
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