to federal law, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is supposed to protect
Iowa’s water by enforcing the federal Clean Water Act for factory farms.
However, the DNR has failed to do this –
for almost 30 years!
the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the DNR has to start
implementing the Clean Water Act by April of 2005. So what is the DNR planning
to do differently? Not much – the DNR wants to
maintain the status quo!
know what the status quo has gotten us...
In the past 10 years, there
have been over 300 fish kills caused by manure spills!
In October and November 2004
alone, there were 22 manure spills in Iowa and most were from factory farms.
Federal Clean Water Act requires all livestock confinements
with 1,000 animal units or more and open feedlots with 1,000 animal units or
more (2,500 hogs or 1,000 beef cattle) to obtain a National Pollution Discharge
Elimination System (NPDES) permit – also known as an operating permit. Smaller
facilities with histories of discharges must also obtain an NPDES permit.
are operating permit important?
Operating permits allow the DNR to include tougher requirements dependent
on the facility.
Operating permits give the DNR a way to say no to a facility in order to
protect water quality.
Operating permits allow citizens to sue the state to enforce the rules.
Operating permits have to be renewed every five years. So, if a factory
farm violates its permit, the facility may not be able to renew their permit and
could be forced to shut down.
in order for these permits to really make a difference, the DNR needs to issue
individual and/or watershed based permits rather than a one-size fits all
now the DNR plans to create a general “one-size-fits-all” permit - the
weakest type of permit – rather than doing tougher
individual based permits with strong requirements.
In order to make the clean water rules meaningful the following
changes need to be made:
Permits need to be individual
and watershed-based rather than a one-size-fits-all general permit.
Incorporate measurable water
quality standards in the permits that keep contaminants in our water under
Explicitly ban manure
application practices for factory farms that are potentially harmful to water
quality, such as application on frozen ground, steep slopes, and application
Ensure strong enforcement of
Charge fees for the permits to
fund DNR’s program, rather than forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.
contact the following and tell them to make these changes
the clean water rules for factory farms!
Governor Tom Vilsack Director Jeff Vonk
c/o John Pederson Iowa Department of Natural Resources
State Capitol Building Wallace State Office Building
Des Moines, IA 50319 502 E 9th Street
515/281-4495 Des Moines, IA 50319
Environmental Protection Commissioners’ contact information:
Lisa Davis Cook Donna Buell Terrance Townsend
5605 Vista Drive 2608 Manhattan Blvd. 500 East 17t St. North
West Des Moines, IA 50266 Spirit Lake, IA 51360 Newton, IA 50208
Ldaviscook@aol.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
515-226-0637 712-337-3250 641-792-3637
Lori Glanzman Heidi Vittetoe Francis Thicke
914 W King Drive 2570 Hwy 92 1745 Brookville Rd
Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641 Washington, IA 52353 Fairfield, IA 52556
Mpuglanzman@se-iowa.net firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
319-385-4117 319-653-4933 641-472-8554
Darrell Hanson Jerry Peckumn Kathryn Murphy
128 Delhi Road 1712 280th St. 1517 1st Avenue, S.W.
Manchester, IA 52057 Jefferson, IA 50129 LeMars, IA 51031
Drhanson@iastate.edu firstname.lastname@example.org Pkmurph@frontiernet.net
563-927-5278 515-386-4000 712-546-6941
For more information
contact Sierra Club at 515/251-3995 or email@example.com
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement at 515/282-0484 or firstname.lastname@example.org