Victory for Clean Water! Iowa House Passes Bill Extending Ban on Manure Application
Due to widespread pressure from members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) and other environmental groups from all across the state, the Iowa House passed SF 432 with strong amendments today. This bill will ban the application of factory farm liquid manure on snow-covered ground during the winter months [extending the ban to start December 21, vs. February 1 in the original version] and bans application on frozen ground between Feb. 1 and April 1.
After receiving thousands of messages from Iowans concerned about water quality, and input from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, House members were forced to review the original proposed bill to expand the scope of regulation and close major loopholes.
Lori Nelson, a member of Iowa CCI from Bayard, stated, “We have been calling for tough regulation of manure application on frozen and snow-covered ground for a long time now. The legislature picked up this issue because of our original pressure on the Environmental Protection Commission and Department of Natural Resources to construct a strong rule, and we weren't about to let a bill to pass that would continue to allow factory farms to pollute our waterways with this practice.”
While amendments to SF 432 made the bill significantly stronger, Iowa CCI Executive Director Hugh Espey said, “We still have a long way to go. This regulation of factory farm manure application is a step in right direction to protect our water quality, but Iowa must continue to stand up against corporate pressure and put people's health and our environment before polluters.”
In the past few years, Iowa has nearly doubled the number of waterways on the impaired waterways list and a recent report from the United States Geological Survey pointed to Iowa as one of the leading contributors to the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. In these urgent times, Iowans continue to call on decision makers to put people first.
[The bill also requires the DNR to give progress reports to the appropriate legislative committees on the impact on Iowa's water quality.The bill now goes to the Senate where it is expected to pass as is. ]
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is a group of everyday people who talk, act and get things done on issues that matter most.