If your community is going to be “hydro-fracked, factory-farmed, used as a dumping ground for sewage sludge, drilled for corporate water withdrawals, used as a laboratory for genetically modified seeds; used for a transmission line, pipeline, or other energy project or any of a thousand other corporate projects your community doesn’t want” then you need to see this Community and Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) primer on “rights-based” organizing. Communities are using “rights-based” organizing and creating networks to protect themselves from corporate exploitation. Explained here is what you need to know and where to start. Click here to watch the video at CELDF.
The Iowa Environmental Council cordially invites members and supporters to our 2013 Environmental Lobby Day at the statehouse.
This year’s event will be especially memorable because members of the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Alliance and the Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy (IWLL) Coalition are also planning to turn out in large numbers to support clean water and a healthy Iowa Environment. (The Council is a member of both groups.)
WHERE: First floor rotunda, Iowa State Capitol building, Des Moines
WHEN: Tuesday, February 26, 2012, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (We’re planning a short press conference for mid-morning; the exact time will be announced soon.)
Commit to attend Lobby Day in person and we’ll send you updates about the event by e-mail!
Environmental Lobby Day is your chance to join with a broad coalition of Iowans to talk with your elected representatives in person about why protecting Iowa’s air, water, and land really matters. We encourage all friends of Iowa’s environment to join us in person for this event.
You are welcome to drop in any time throughout the day, but we will hold a short press conference at 11:00 a.m. that we encourage you to attend.
Supporters of clean water are encouraged to wear blue for this event.
8:00 a.m. Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy will hold a briefing on the Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund in the Wallace Building Auditorium.
Following that, supporters will walk across Grand Avenue to the statehouse to meet with legislators. Iowa Environmental Council member and partner organizations will have table displays in the Rotunda.
11:00 a.m. The Iowa Environmental Council will hold a brief press conference highlighting our key legislative priorities.
Never lobbied before? No problem. Iowa Environmental Council staff will be on hand throughout the day to support you, and you’ll be able to pick up a handy guide to the Council’s legislative priorities to help you decide what you’d like to talk about. It also never hurts to bring a friend to join you as you chat with legislators.
Can’t travel to Des Moines? This is the perfect time to join our Action Alert Network. On February 26, we’ll e-mail you a link to contact your legislators via e-mail. It’s a great way to participate from wherever you live. And as an Action Alert Volunteer, you’ll be ready to speak out to decision-makers on a variety of environmental issues right when it matters most.
There will be no frac sand mining in Allamakee County.
The county passed an 18-month moratorium Monday morning.
Frac sand is becoming a hot commodity because it’s being widely used in a process called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” to extract natural gas in other parts of the country.
In Allamakee County, a mining company wanted to set up shop on a farm about five miles south of New Albin.
Some people in the area are concerned about potential health problems, property values, local tourism and more.
Read the moratorium below. Here is the link: http://www.allamakeecountyprotectors.com/moratorium-document
Allamakee County Moratorium – 18 months
ALLAMAKEE COUNTY ORDINANCE NO. _________________
AN ORDINANCE IMPOSING A TEMPORARY MORATORIUM ON THE SUBMISSION, ACCEPTANCE, PROCESSING, AND APPROVAL OF ANY APPLICATION FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT OR SITE PLAN APPROVAL FOR NEW FRAC SAND EXTRACTION PITS, OR FOR THE WASHING, REFINING, PROCESSING, STORING, OR STOCKPILING OF FRAC SAND; DIRECTING THE PROMPT INVESTIGATION OF THE COUNTY’S REGULATORY AUTHORITY OVER FRAC SAND EXTRACTION PITS AND FRAC SAND PROCESSING OPERATIONS; AND DECLARING THE INTENTION OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER THE ADOPTION OF APPROPRIATE ZONING REGULATIONS WITH RESPECT TO FRAC SAND EXTRACTION PITS AND FRAC SAND PROCESSING OPERATIONS.
PREAMBLE AND FINDINGS
WHEREAS, new technologies for mining petroleum and natural gas deposits have resulted in a rapid growth in demand for specialized sand used in hydraulic fracturing (“frac sand”) which can be obtained by mining in the St. Peter and Jordan sandstone layers where they lie near the surface in Allamakee County. Frac sand mining in nearby counties, including those located in Minnesota and Wisconsin, has been attended by problems and concerns affecting the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents of those areas. The new demand for frac sand mining operations has the potential to cause similar problems in Allamakee County unless potential problems and concerns are proactively addressed by the County; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds that Allamakee County will inevitably be subjected to similar pressure to open new extraction pits for the mining of frac sand, but that the Allamakee County Comprehensive Plan does not adequately address mining, transportation, processing, storage, and stockpiling of frac sand, and a number of attendant concerns; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds that St. Peter and Jordan Sandstone exposures can be found in the valley of the Upper Iowa River and other valleys throughout the County, and that St. Peter and Jordan formations can be found underlying many hills and bluff-tops associated with such valleys; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds that Allamakee County’s valleys, hills and bluff-tops are a valuable scenic resource important to the welfare of the County and important to its tourism industry. The Boards finds that rapid development of sandstone mining with inadequate controls over the location and size of the mining operations, and with inadequate guarantee for post-mining restoration, threatens to permanently impoverish the Allamakee landscape; and
WHEREAS, the Board further finds the opening of new frac sand mining operations in Allamakee County, under the current zoning regulations, could decrease the values of nearby properties; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds that frac sand mining and processing may generate heavy truck traffic, which in turn may cause rapid deterioration of County roads and bridges, causing a burden on Allamakee County taxpayers, and may generate dust and noise which may be deemed nuisances and pose potential health and safety threats; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds that heavy truck traffic between frac sand mining sites and frac sand storage, processing and shipping points may expose neighboring landowners and the traveling public to increased risk of accident where the roads are not designed for heavy truck traffic, lack needed turn lanes, and where dust generated by trucks on gravel roads may interfere with vision; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds that concerns have been raised about the potential health risks of silica dust generated by the mining, transportation, processing, and storage of frac sand which should be studied and addressed prior to the issuance of new permits allowing frac sand mining in Allamakee County; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds that the St. Peter and Jordan sandstone formations are aquifers providing drinking water to residents of Allamakee County, that protection of the quality of those aquifers is of crucial importance to the County, and that the potential impact of frac sand mining and processing on the integrity of those aquifers requires study; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds that frac sand mining operations may threaten sites of archaeological significance, including but not limited to Indian burial grounds on bluffs adjoining river valleys; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds that a temporary emergency exists as a result of the potential problems posed by this new land use issue; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds that a moratorium on the consideration and issuance of conditional use permits for new frac sand extraction permits and frac sand processing operations until July 1, 2014 would preserve the status quo for a reasonable time while the County studies these potential problems and adopts any appropriate amendments to the Allamakee County Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance. The imposition of a temporary moratorium on new frac sand development while the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance are amended will help to accomplish the purpose of the expected new zoning regulations by giving them the broadest possible applicability and preventing interim development that is inconsistent with the new regulations.
WHEREAS, proprietors of existing extraction pits for the production of limestone and dolomite and for the production of deposits of construction sand will not be prejudiced by the imposition of a moratorium concerning frac sand.
THEREFORE, THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF ALLAMAKEE COUNTY, IOWA, ORDAINS:
1.) Definitions: The following definitions shall apply for purposes of this ordinance:
a.) “Industrial sand” or “frac sand” shall mean high purity silica sand which, when processed, is suitable for use as a proppant in the enhancement of oil and gas wells by means of injection fracturing. All sand mined from the St. Peter and Jordan sandstone formations shall be included within this definition.
b.) “Construction sand” shall mean sand that is predominantly produced and used for local construction purposes, such as asphalt or concrete. All existing sand pits containing alluvial sand shall be included within this definition.
2.) Imposition of Temporary Moratorium on Applications for Permits and
Licenses Related to Frac Sand Related Extraction Pits.
Upon the adoption of this Ordinance, a temporary moratorium ending July 1, 2014 is imposed upon the consideration or approval of all applications for conditional use permits required by Section 302.6 and 305.1 of the Zoning Ordinance for (1) new extraction pits for frac sand or materials overlying frac sand; and (2) new conditional use permits for the washing, refining, processing, storing, or stockpiling of frac sand. This moratorium also temporarily prohibits new conditional use permits or site plan approvals required by Section 302.5 of the Zoning Ordinance for removal of frac sand or materials overlying frac sand from the Bluffland Impact Zone or the Bluffland Protection District. During the moratorium period, the Allamakee County Zoning Administrator, Allamakee County Board of Adjustment, and Allamakee County Planning and Zoning Commission are directed to refuse to accept for filing, and/or review, any applications for conditional use permits or site plan approvals for:
new extraction pits containing frac sand, and
sites or facilities designed for the washing, refining, processing, storing, or stockpiling of frac sand.
The burden of proving that the above applications do not involve frac sand production or processing shall fall upon the applicant for any such permits or approvals.
3.) Study and Adoption of Proposed Amendments and Regulations. Before the expiration of the moratorium imposed by this Ordinance, the Allamakee County Zoning Administrator and Allamakee County Planning and Zoning Commission, working with the Allamakee County Attorney, shall investigate, hold hearings, and prepare appropriate recommendations for amendments to the Allamakee County Comprehensive Plan to address issues related to frac sand mining and processing.
4.) The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors finds, determines, and declares that passage of this Moratorium Ordinance is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety in order to prevent the consideration of applications and issuance of conditional use permits for frac sand mining operations before Allamakee County has had a reasonable opportunity to study frac sand issues and to amend its comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance. Failure to immediately impose the moratorium provided for in this Ordinance will potentially allow such applicants to obtain permits and acquire certain rights with respect to frac sand mines before Allamakee County has had a reasonable opportunity to consider appropriate amendments thereto. The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors further determines that the adoption of this Ordinance is in the best interest of the citizens of Allamakee County.
5.) The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors hereby finds, determines and declares that it has the power to adopt this Ordinance pursuant to: Iowa Code Chapter 331, Section 501.1 of the Allamakee County Zoning Ordinance, and pursuant to the authority found in the Iowa Supreme Court case of Geisler v. City Council Cedar Falls, 769 N.W.2d 162 (Iowa 2009) .
6.) The opening of a new extraction pit for the extraction of frac sand, or the opening of a new facility for the processing or stockpiling of frac sand begun in violation of this Moratorium shall be deemed a violation of the Allamakee County Zoning Ordinance and shall be punishable under the provisions described in Chapter 6 of that ordinance. As provided in Section 601 of the Allamakee Zoning Ordinance, each day of such continued violation shall constitute a separate offense.
8. Repealer. All Ordinances or parts of Ordinances in conflict with this Zoning Ordinance Amendment or inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance Amendment, are hereby temporarily repealed to the time and extent necessary to give this temporary Moratorium Ordinance full force and effect.
9. Effective date. This Ordinance shall become effective immediately after its final passage, approval, and publication by law, and shall remain in effect until July 1, 2014, unless repealed prior to that date.
PASSED BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ON THE _________ day of ___________, 2013.
Larry Shellhammer, Chairperson, Allamakee County Board of Supervisors
Next Raccoon River Watershed Association (RRWA) Meeting–Hotel Pattee, Downtown, Perry, Iowa
Friday –Dec. 7
7:30 p.m. Show “America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. “Ding” Darling” --Hotel Pattee, Perry, Iowa,
Saturday–Dec. 8, 9:30—11:00 a.m. Board meeting
General Meeting–11:00 to 11:25 –Sandra Somers (CUSV) editor of the new book: “Storm over Raccoon River” will talk about how locals formed Citizens United to Save the Valley and stopped the Army Corps of Engineers from building the Jefferson Dam on the North Raccoon River. Copies of the book will be available.
11:30–12:00–Susan Heathcote (Iowa Environmental Council Water Quality Specialist) will talk about pollution reduction strategies for the Raccoon River.
“—The Raccoon River Watershed Association is a group of citizens dedicated to the stewardship of the Raccoon River. It seeks to preserve and enhance the river and its watershed. It will strive to improve the quality of the river and its watershed so that citizens can safely enjoy swimming, fishing, canoeing, hunting, hiking, bird watching and other outdoor recreational activities. The association will engage in education, networking, cleanup, assessment and policy making to achieve these ends.”
Dues special! $1
Join! Send $1, name, phone, e-mail address to Mike Murphy
6507 Del Matro, Windsor Heights, Ia 50324
2012 Earth Charter Summit on Economic Justice
Quad Cities 5th Annual 2012 Earth Charter Summit:
Saturday, September 15, 2012
9:00am – 3:00pm
Western Illinois University
3300 River Drive, Moline, IL
Ellen Augustine, M.A., notmypriorities.org
Ellen is a speaker and author on creating a just, peaceful, and sustainable world. She founded/co-founded four nonprofits on environmental regeneration, media violence, international citizen diplomacy, and mentoring at-risk youth. She is a contributing author to A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption. She is co-author of Taking Back Our Lives in the Age of Corporate Dominance (as Ellen Schwartz). She has presented “Stories of Hope” at universities and associations-profiles of people who are creating businesses which increase profits by incorporating eco-initiatives, and communities and schools which truly nurture and renew us. Ellen has been featured in Utne Reader and Hope Magazine, received the Women of Achievement and Thread of Hope Awards, and was named one of 21 Visionaries for the 21st Century. She serves on the board of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Northern Alameda County. She holds a Masters Degree in Speech Communication.
The Pentagon, the Economy, and the 99%
Most Americans do not know that the Pentagon consumes more than 60% of our discretionary budget, which equals the military spending of all the other countries of the world combined! This takes an enormous toll on quality of life for the 99%: there is insufficient money for health care, education, affordable housing, environmental restoration, and green job creation, to name but few. Ellen will reveal why the military is a poor jobs program, where cuts can be made, what true security looks like, and why science is on our side for the triumph of the Common Good! You will leave with a plethora of ideas for actions.
Passion in Action: Enhancing YOUR Idea for a World That Works for All
In Eastern philosophy, each person is here for a unique purpose, and if you do not do what is yours to do, there is a hole in the universe. Do you have a vision for the common good that just won’t let go of you? Ellen will support participants in coalescing ideas for a more vibrant, joyful, and sustainable world. This workshop is both for people who already have a project in motion as well as for those with a new idea. In this workshop participants will learn to:
- Brainstorm initial steps and prioritize actions
- Write clear and compelling copy for promotional flyers
- Stimulate thinking on generating revenues from fundraising
- Organize a public outreach campaign
- Craft timely and engaging press releases
- Liaison with other stakeholders
- Overcome potential objections
- Develop one-page fact & action sheets
- Lunch provided at 12 noon -
Cost is only $10, $5 for students
(Goodwill donations will be accepted based on ability to pay; full stipends are also available)
Tabling is available to organizations interested in participating at this event
Please share this with your friends, family members, coworkers, civic groups, rotary clubs, etc, to help us reach as many citizens as possible in our effort to promote this event!
To Register, Print/Complete the – REGISTRATION FORM HERE. Space is limited and we expect to fill every seat so register today! Make checks payable to PACG and mail to:
c/o Earth Charter Summit
1212 W. 3rd St, Suite 3D
Davenport, IA 52804
If you would like to volunteer to help with this event or to reserve a table for your organization, please contact Caroline at Progressive Action for the Common Good:
Yesterday was Environmental Lobby Day at the Iowa statehouse. Check out the Iowa Environmental Council’s website and blog. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. They got nice coverage by WHO-TV. Also at the statehouse yesterday was Iowa Rivers Revival, a group dedicated to protecting Iowa’s rivers.
Following are remarks by Marian Riggs Gelb, executive director of the Iowa Environmental Council, delivered at the statehouse yesterday. The remarks printed here are as prepared for delivery.
At the Iowa Environmental Council, we’re focused protecting Iowa’s natural resources and enhancing our quality of life. Iowa should be a place where all of us, our children, and our grandchildren can live productive, healthy lives.
As the economic downturn took hold in Iowa, we witnessed deep cuts in funding for environmental and conservation priorities. We hoped these cuts would be short term, but instead, we are alarmed to see the Governor’s proposed budget for this year moves us toward accepting these cuts as the new normal.
The picture at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is particularly stark. Since fiscal year 2009, the size of the state’s general fund is proposed to increase by just over three percent. The governor’s proposed budget for this year would cut general fund support for DNR by one third over the same time period.
Facing rising personnel costs, the Department has absorbed these cuts by reducing the size of its workforce to a point where we now question its ability to successfully fulfill its statutory responsibilities.
This funding trend is in direct contrast to the commitment 63% of Iowans made to our natural resources when they voted for the constitutionally protected Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.
The legislature must find ways to prioritize funding for conservation and protection of natural resources this session and recognize that leaving environmental quality behind will harm our efforts to realize an economically secure future for Iowa.
Today, I want to share a few stories from around Iowa that illustrate the connection between our environment and our state’s future.
Iowa Rivers Revival just named Charles City its 2012 Iowa River Town of the Year, and it’s easy to see why. This community has come together to create new riverside parks and transform a dangerous low-head dam into a whitewater kayak course. And they’ve committed to protecting water quality in Iowa by installing the state’s largest permeable paving system to reduce stormwater runoff and keep the river clean.
Charles City is a recreational and economic development success story. But without good water quality in the Cedar River, no one will want to make use of these new amenities. It matters what happens upstream.
To protect waters in the Cedar River and elsewhere around the state, Iowa should utilize a watershed-based approach to improve water quality, and funding should be prioritized for areas where it will provide the greatest return for the taxpayer’s dollar.
Making smart investments in water quality requires good water quality monitoring, which is critical to understanding how pollution is affecting our lakes, rivers, and streams and also to verifying our progress toward making improvements.
Another example of a well-loved project with connections to good environmental quality is the High Trestle Trail, just north of Des Moines. The trail features a spectacular bridge over the Des Moines River offering one of central Iowa’s best scenic views.
The bridge sits at the extreme north end of Saylorville Lake that, like many lakes in Iowa, is increasingly filling in with silt washing off land. That’s a problem, because as we all know so well, the reservoir provides critical flood protection to Des Moines, including the neighborhood just outside this building.
The continuing deterioration of Saylorville Lake and others like it raises serious questions about our commitment to controlling the problem of soil erosion. Our state fiscal policies are seriously hampering the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s ability to get proven conservation practices on the ground to protect our farm fields and waterways from soil losses and nutrient runoff.
In fact, the number of professionals employed by the Department’s Division of Soil Conservation reached its peak in the 1980s and has since fallen by more than half. In the last five years, administrative support available to Soil and Water Conservation Districts is off 20%. These reductions in personnel have resulted in significant delays of the installation of conservation practices in Iowa.
The minimum step Iowa should take is to adequately fund the implementation of conservation programs we already have. And further, in light of the size of the problem we face—it’s time to identify certain bad practices—like planting crops right up to the edge of rivers and streams—that we simply shouldn’t tolerate in Iowa anymore.
Further down the river here in Des Moines, careful land use planning is critical to limiting changes that create greater risk of more flooding disasters for Iowa. This issue touches all corners of the state—because all of us live downstream of someone else.
If you walk down Locust Street to the river, you’ll see the Principal Riverwalk—which is still under construction—and includes a flood wall. Last year, the City of Des Moines announced that flood wall is likely two feet short of the level of protection the city needs based on a new worst case flooding scenario. One plan to respond to this bad news bears a 40 million dollar price tag.
The legislature should implement better floodplain management upstream—including encouraging use of grass buffers and wetlands to store floodwaters and additional measures to control stormwater from cities.
And so, just along the Des Moines River between the High Trestle Trail’s bridge and the statehouse, we can find numerous reasons to take action to protect our environment. And environmental protection matters in many other ways as well.
Governor Branstad has set the goals of bringing 200,000 new jobs to Iowa and making this state the healthiest in the nation. These are both admirable goals. At the Council, we believe a healthy Iowa environment will help to achieve them both.
Conservation action and careful development of our natural resources provide direct opportunities for economic development, job creation and a high quality of life. And further, these activities help make Iowa a more attractive place to locate a business or look for a job.
And for the task of keeping Iowans healthy—outdoor recreational opportunities provide numerous ways for Iowans to move more and enjoy the great outdoors.
None of this will be possible if we accept the reality that the legislature is currently considering—where dramatic cuts have become the new status quo. A healthy environment is the foundation of our quality of life, and environmental protection and conservation are worthy investments in this legislative session. We hope the legislature will respond and put Iowa back on track to a brighter future.
From Iowa Environmental Council – iaenvironment.org/
Protect Iowa’s Soil and Water in the Farm Bill
Restore the Conservation Compliance Covenant
Calls and emails needed by Tuesday Nov. 1
US lawmakers are currently proposing major changes to the Farm Bill—the primary driver of U.S. farm policy—that will impact our state’s agricultural industry and natural resources for many years to come. Unlike in previous years, the Super Committee will be holding their meetings in private once they receive budget-cutting recommendations from the US Senate & House Agriculture Committees on November 1. Because the ultimate decision regarding farm policy could be made behind closed doors, there is only a small window of time for you to give your input to Ag Committee members who represent Iowa. Voice your opinion NOW to ensure that the Ag Committees submit recommendations to the Super Committee that promote basic conservation practices on farms.
What is at stake?
Congress must restore the covenant between famers and the public that link conservation compliance with taxpayer subsidized risk management programs (i.e. crop and revenue insurance). Risk management programs don’t just provide relief after weather disasters, but ensure farm profits do not fall below a set average due to commodity prices or other non-weather factors. Compliance provisions require taxpayer-subsidized farmers to agree to farm in a way that prevents excessive soil loss on highly erodible land, prevents destruction of wetlands on farmland, and protects other environmental resources.
The link between crop insurance and conservation was part of the 1985 Farm Bill but was removed in the 1996 Farm Bill to encourage farmers to switch from direct payments to crop insurance programs. Today, federal crop insurance covers over 80% of all commodity crops grown and is the primary manner in which ag producers receive subsidies, making up the second biggest portion of the entire Farm Bill budget.
In order to ensure that the agricultural safety net works in harmony with conservation programs, conservation compliance provisions should be strengthened – and enforced. Without the link between crop insurance and conservation compliance, subsidized insurance can provide an incentive for farmers to convert marginal lands to crops because they don’t shoulder the risk of failure.
Moving Planet September 24, 2011
Moving Planet will be a day to put our demands for climate action into motion—marching, biking, skating—calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels.
WHY: For too long, our leaders have denied and delayed, compromised and caved. That era must come to an end: it’stime to get moving on the climate crisis.
WHERE: All over the world.
WHEN: September 24, 2011
WHO: You, your friends, your family, your neighbors
Scott County Board of Supervisors Gives Pass To More CAFOs
by Molly Regan
When the Scott County Board of Supervisors took public comment on Tom Dittmer's request for an expansion to existing hog confinements, the board asked that speakers address the Master Matrix (MM) and Manure Management Plan (MMP). The MMP consisted in part of 16 pages showing names and locations of farmers in Scott County who would receive manure from 2011 through 2014. The manure, which is actually a swill loaded with hydrogen sulfide and ammonia among other toxins, would total over 13 Million gallons in 2011 and over 15 Million gallons in 2014.
A lot? You bet. This all comes from one location.
Imagine my surprise when on August 19th, the board members took over 20 minutes to tell us it was all about Dittmer's integrity. Apparently, their decision did not have anything to do with chemistry and physics as it was supposed to, but was about a person's supposed character.
The board did not wait for the results of a complaint to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) about the possibility of a manure leak at the Dittmer location. They could have waited for the results, but according to a spokesperson at the DNR, the board did not even ASK for the results. According to the DNR's report, “…on-site observations of the design of the manure control system suggest that discharges of manure outside of the manure control system were designed to occur through a 'keyway'. The observation of the 'keyway' directly adjacent to the drainage tile supports the department's conclusion…”
This was by design ….intentionally done…on purpose….Mr. Dittmer knew about it and planned it. He has been caught putting hog waste into a ditch that goes to Hickory Creek, that goes to the Wapsipinicon River, that goes to the Mississippi River. So when question #20 on the MM was answered by Dittmer, regarding whether or not he had any environmental violations in the past five years, he answered no, that he hadn't. But, he only hadn't been caught…until now. How's that for integrity?
There will be an explosion of hog confinements all over Scott County and if there are under approximately 4,160 pigs at any one location, no state Master Matrix form needs to be filled out. No public hearing will be held. No neighbors will be required to be informed. The 'good neighbor' term, which never meant much anyway, will become defunct. Up the confinements will go. Down your property values will fall.
So beware the CAFO's. They will be coming close to you and your children. Hydrogen sulfide and ammonia from hog waste are toxins that cause eye and lung irritation, headaches, disorientation, and neurological damage according to Dr. Kaye Kilburn in the book Chemical Brain Injury. As adults, the main things we should always be looking for are the safety, health, and education of all children. When greed for money and sidestepping the rules take precedent, it is time for things to change.
You can help facilitate that change.
State legislators can start to fix the Master Matrix, or better yet, toss it out and start over. Contact your locally elected officials, your state representatives and senators, the governor's office and the DNR's Environmental Protection Commission to put stronger laws in place. Even if the DNR approves Dittmer's permit, which they had until September 20th to consider, talk with members of the Environmental Protection Commission about your concerns.
In the meantime, David Kirby author of Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment spoke at the Putnam Museum in Davenport on September 11th, and drew a crowd of nearly 170 people. His book deals with how rural citizens and communities in Illinois, North Carolina and Washington state have suffered from animal confinements and large open feedlots.
If Dittmer's expansion happens, this throws open the door for hundreds of additional hog confinements up and down the Mississippi River both in Iowa and Illinois. The proposed Triumph Foods will be closer to becoming a reality, and the degradation of the Quad Cities area will begin.
The time to stop this is now. As a former Soil and Water Commissioner from Scott County, I feel this is of extreme importance to all who live in this area, rural and urban to voice your opinion on the threat of these confinements and the proposed slaughterhouse. Do it for the children.
Progressive Action for the Common Good
Animal Factory: David Kirby Coming to Eastern Iowa
did not intend for animals to live and die in a factory assembly line.
In David Kirby's startling investigation Animal Factory, he gives a
human face to the terrible cost our health and environment pay for this
so-called cheap food. This is a story that is seldom told and rarely
with such force and eloquence.” – Alice Waters
David Kirby is coming to eastern IOWA to discuss his book Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment
David Kirby has been a professional journalist for 15 years who worked in Mexico and Central America from 1986-1990. He has often posted articles on Huffington Post and the New York Times. David has appeared on Air America, Meet the Press, and most recently Monday night on Larry King Live on CNN.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Putnam Museum, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport
7 – 9 PM
Sunday, September 12
Book reading & signing
Barnes & Nobel Bookstore
Northpark Mall, Davenport
10:30 AM – Noon
Next, visit to Geest Farms, a sustainable beef and pork farm
8705 145th St., Blue Grass, Iowa
1 – 2 PM
Proudly sponsored by Progressive Action for the Common Good, Eagle View Sierra Club, IOWA Farmers Union, Illinois Citizens For Clean Air and Water, IOWA Citizens for Community Improvement, and others.
For more information or if you have a group of 10 or more, call 563.321.7458 or 309.721.3204