Save the Date
The 2014 Iowa Chapter Annual Meeting will be held Saturday, October 4, at
the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City. A volunteer-led
hike will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the luncheon to be served at
noon. Karl Brooks, Environmental Protection Agency Region 7
Administrator, will be the featured speaker..
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.
Tappaan Lodge Outings
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.
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!
take a few minutes to complete our survey.
about volunteer activities and upcoming projects. Click here
for more information.
Read recent Sierra Club news releases.
Information that has been moved off
the front page.
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...
The Department of Natural Resources has
posted fish consumption advisories for nine sites. Find out where
they are here...
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
for living well and doing good.
Are Not People
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
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
a non-deductible donation to the Iowa Chapter.
can also make a tax deductible donation to the Iowa Chapter.
Jeopardizes Historic REAP Vote
Iowans made it loud and
clear in 2014 that REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) is a popular
program. Legislators heard us and, in response, fumnded REAP at
$25 million through three pieces of legislation.\
Gov,. Terry Branstad
vetoed all but $16 million of the bill.
what you can do.
Day of Action in Des Moines, May 17th
citizens said “No” to Keystone XL and “Yes” to clean energy
Central Iowans joined hands to
ask the President and local officials to reject the
Keystone XL pipeline and other dirty fuel projects that threaten our
communities and destabilize our climate.
The event was one of hundreds of synchronized events with
Hands Across the Sand/Land and other partners to raise awareness about the
dangers of dirty fuels and the need to speed the transition to available,
affordable clean energy solutions.
The National Day of Action is another manifestation of a
growing movement demanding that our leaders act quickly and boldly to address
climate change. It comes in the wake of the U. S. Department
of State's recent announcement that it was extending its review of the
pipeline, and the Reject & Protect encampment in Washington, DC which
dramatically highlighted the opposition of farmers, ranchers and Native
Americans who would be directly impacted by the pipeline,
In early March, Keystone
activists presented the Administration with over 2.5 million comments
opposing the pipeline.
Sierra Club Calls for More Balanced Stakeholder Group, Public Meetings in Considering
Topsoil Retention Rule
The Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club is calling on Chuck Gipp, Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), to expand the stakeholder group involved with reviewing a rule
requiring that construction companies return four inches of topsoil to construction sites upon
In the Notice of the Stakeholder Group, the DNR states that “Concerns have been expressed by
impacted individuals that the costs and impacts of the topsoil preservation requirements are greater
than anticipated and greater than what should reasonably be borne by developers and home buyers.”
The Notice further states that “The stakeholder group will consider alternative topsoil preservation
requirements that would satisfy the federal requirement, maintain locally expected levels of surface
water protection and soil preservation, and minimize costs associated with these standards.”
“The reason for the topsoil restoration rule is to help increase water infiltration into the soil,” said
Debbie Neustadt, Iowa Chapter chair. “It also helps prevent runoff and erosion, retains healthy soil, and
lessens the degradation of water quality. Topsoil retention will aid the homebuyers in their efforts to
establish landscaping – grass, trees and gardens – on their lots.”
Under Governor Branstad’s Executive Order 80, agencies are required to form stakeholder groups to
review any proposed rule before the rulemaking process can begin. Item 2 of the Executive Order states
that “The group shall consist of stakeholders that can adequately represent the varying interests that
will be significantly affected by any contemplated draft rule proposal that may result from the
deliberation so [sic] of the stakeholder rulemaking group. The appointing agency shall ensure that all
significant or known interests have an opportunity to be represented, to the extent practicable.”
Because of the effect this rule has on water quality, the Iowa Chapter supports adding stakeholders with
interest in protecting water quality and restoring the soil to a site to enable normal ground water
The current stakeholders include four representatives from the construction industry, one from storm
water, one who owns a plant nursery, and one who represents the Environmental Protection
Commission. Two women and five men were selected with the majority of them from the Des Moines
“It is obvious that the stakeholders were selected with a bias in favor of the construction industry to
ensure the rule changes would favor construction,” said Neustadt. “Unfortunately, changing the rule
would come at the expense of protecting water quality.”
The Iowa Chapter is requesting that Gipp add stakeholders that would create a more diverse
membership, including more gender and geographic balance.
Item 5 of Executive Order 80 requires public input. Given that the current membership of the
stakeholder group does not reflect all stakeholder interests, the Iowa Chapter is calling upon the
Department of Natural Resources to conduct the meetings in public with a provision for public comment
at each meeting.
Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy
The Iowa Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural
Resources and Iowa State University 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
The Iowa Chapter submitted comments on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy are being
the Iowa Chapter's comments. Read
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
EPA Representatives Meet
The EPA has posted its draft work plan agreement with the Iowa
Department of Natural Resources. The Iowa DNR has yet to sign it.
the draft agreement.
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.
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
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
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
EPA has posted documents on
its website pertaining to the investigation. Read all
public comments submitted.
Go to our CAFOs
page to learn more.
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
One way you can help right now is by urging President Obama to designate
some of America's best wild places as national monuments.
and share a photo of your favorite piece of America with your family
and friends, and inspire them to take action, too.
Water Report Card
See how Iowa's delegation in the U.S. House of
Representatives scored on Sierra Club's Clean
Water Report Card.
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 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
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 08.28.2014
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