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After The Latest Iowa Flood

Cedar River at Iowa Highway One on Sept. 27, 2016 at 11:36 a.m.

Cedar River at Iowa Highway One on Sept. 27, 2016 at 11:36 a.m.

The Cedar River crested in Cedar Rapids at 21.91 feet at 11 a.m. yesterday.

As the river recedes over the next few days the temporary flood wall and earthen berms built over the weekend will be monitored for breaches.

They held during the crest, protecting people and property from damage. Here’s a link to a news story about the flood.

State Senator Rob Hogg announced a “Flood Relief, Recovery and Resilience Tour” of Cedar Falls, Waverly, Clarksville, Shell Rock, Charles City, Vinton and Palo today and tomorrow. Hogg hopes to learn about the damage done, what kind of help people need, what worked and what didn’t work, and how we can do more together to reduce future flood damage, including better flood mitigation infrastructure and better watershed and floodplain management according to the event page on Facebook.

The City of Cedar Rapids knew what to do when flooding was predicted after heavy precipitation events upstream. Over the weekend officials executed a plan to build a temporary flood wall, evacuated low-lying areas and ramped up emergency services to prevent large-scale damage to homes, property and people living in Iowa’s second largest city. News media stories focused on the human drama of reaction to the impending flood. There has been little coverage of the causes of the heavy precipitation events that produced rain that caused the flooding in northeastern Iowa.

“Iowa is already experiencing the effects of climate change,” according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website. This includes “increased frequency of precipitation extremes that lead to flooding.”

Flooded Farm Near the Cedar River, Sept. 27, 2016

Flooded Farm Near the Cedar River, Sept. 27, 2016

Because this is the second major flood in Cedar Rapids since 2008, solutions to protecting people and assets going forward have been discussed and are clear.

Senator Hogg outlined three essential strategies: get Congress to help fund permanent flood protection that has already received state and local funding; better upstream watershed and floodplain management to reduce peak flooding; and action on climate change to stop extreme precipitation events from getting worse.

U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers “demanding answers on why they have neglected to complete flood mitigation projects in the Cedar Rapids region and have put the public’s safety at risk.”

They wrote:

With all due respect, it is no longer sufficient to say that your hands are tied and that nothing short of a congressional earmark can help communities like Cedar Rapids that have lower property values. You have some discretion to help and have simply made the decision to forego the assistance even though the community endured a 500-year flood event in 2008, worked with the Corps to develop a project to address that flood risk, and worked with Congress to get it authorized. Due to your refusal to budget for this project, Cedar Rapids is now facing another major flood event without the needed levee improvements.

Hidden in this tough language is a bitter irony. Congress won’t appropriate money for the project, yet the senators expect the Corps of Engineers to find it somewhere else in their budget. This is what austerity policies look like and they are not good for the people of Cedar Rapids and other flood impacted areas.

While Iowans impacted by flooding are concerned, in the upper atmosphere carbon dioxide levels maintained a level above 400 part per million according to monitors in Hawaii. Atmospheric carbon dioxide level is a key contributor to global warming which increases the intensity of precipitation events that have led to Iowa flooding.

“September is usually the month when carbon dioxide is at its lowest after a summer of plants growing and sucking it up in the northern hemisphere,” Brian Kahn wrote in an article on Climate Central. “As fall wears on, those plants lose their leaves, which in turn decompose, releasing the stored carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. At Mauna Loa Observatory, the world’s marquee site for monitoring carbon dioxide, there are signs that the process has begun but levels have remained above 400 ppm.”

Why is 400 ppm important? The lower limit of the safe operating zone boundary for carbon dioxide on Earth is 350 ppm. We passed that level in 1986.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth Assessment Report notes that, “continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”

That means more flooding in Iowa similar to this week’s event. While politicians like Senator Hogg are well-attuned to the urgency of this climate crisis, too many politicians and public officials are dismissive of climate change.

Governmental action to mitigate the effects of climate change is needed. If our current crop of politicians isn’t willing to take action, we should replace them with people who will.

Evacuation Of Cedar Rapids Under Way

Extreme One-Day Precipitation Events in the Contiguous 48 States. Bars = years; line = 9-year trend. Image Credit: U.S. EPA

Extreme One-Day Precipitation Events in the Contiguous 48 States. Bars = years; line = 9-year trend. Image Credit: U.S. EPA

The headline from this morning’s Des Moines Register was that residents of 5,000 Cedar Rapids homes were asked to evacuate in advance of the flood crest predicted to arrive Tuesday morning. The height of the crest has been revised downward to 23 feet, however, damage is expected to be severe.

Cedar Rapids fire officials plan to ask for the names of next of kin of residents who refuse to leave the flood zone.

City officials say government has been preparing for a major flood since the record-breaking 2008 event.

There is bravura in the execution of the local preparations indicating the city knows how to mobilize to prevent anticipated damage — better than it did in 2008. It is always good to see people coming together in times of natural disaster to help each other.

At the same time, almost everyone in government, in news media and in other accounts of the disaster fail to consider the root causes of the heavy precipitation events driving record flooding. The world continues to annually dump more than 38 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere like it was an open sewer. That’s 2.4 million pounds per second.

News media and politicians may be enamored of the story of human resistance to the forces of nature, but failure to address the root cause of increased levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through proper governance should be unacceptable.

Government plays a significant role in mitigating the effects of climate change. Perhaps it’s time we changed the current crop of politicians who fill elected office seats from those who are cheer leaders for reaction to natural disasters to those who will take action to prevent them.

Without action, the chart above from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will continue to map a direction that puts people and assets in jeopardy.

We should know better and do something about global warming and climate change as a society.

Godspeed Cedar Rapids. May your elected officials who don’t do so already perceive tomorrow’s flooding as a wake-up call to action.

Protect Environment, Stop Nuclear Weapons

Paul Deaton

Paul Deaton

(Editor’s Note: When this guest column ran in the Cedar Rapids Gazette on Wednesday, Sept. 21, its abstract nature became real as heavy precipitation events pummeled Butler County and other parts of northeastern Iowa, disrupting lives there and downstream. Living in an environment where rain damages crops instead of nurturing them; where rivers jump their banks, close schools and displace people; and where Cedar Rapids must protect the city from record amounts of floodwater multiple times in eight years, something’s wrong. We must take action that includes electing a government that will address the causes of global warming and nuclear proliferation, not just deal with the actuality we have created).

Protect environment; stop nuclear weapons
By Paul Deaton

Guest column for the Cedar Rapids Gazette Sept. 21, 2016.
Reprinted with permission of the author

If we accept the premise articulated by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, that we are stronger together, there is a lot in society requiring our collective attention.

There are no lone wolves in human society, although a number of people want to get away from the pack. Can we blame them? Being stronger together is a fundamental characteristic of Homo sapiens. It’s what we do as a species.

What should we be working on?

It is hard to avoid the primacy of following the golden rule. We should be applying the golden rule, better than we have been, to everything we already do. This is basic.

Two other issues call for our attention, the threat of nuclear weapons, and mitigating the effects of climate change.

Today, on very short notice, nuclear powers can unleash a holocaust ending life as we know it. Nuclear war is not talked about much in the 21st Century; however the threat is as real today as it was when President Truman authorized the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings. The United States should take the lead in eliminating nuclear weapons. We need a transformational change in our nuclear policy that recognizes these weapons are the gravest threat to our security and must be banned and abolished.

We are wrecking our environment and should stop. Just 90 companies are to blame for most climate change, taking carbon out of the ground and putting it in the atmosphere, geographer Richard Heede said. If that’s the case, the move to eliminate fossil fuel use can’t come quick enough. These companies should be targeted for regulation by governments. Companies say they are not to blame for the demand from billions of consumers that drives fossil fuel use. Technologies exist to eliminate fossil fuels, and we should adopt them with haste. One purpose of government is to act as a voice for people who have no voice. Regulating business to protect our lives in the environment would serve that purpose.

After the 2016 election these issues will remain. The first can gain wide support easily. It is time the other two gain parity.

~ Paul Deaton retired from CRST Logistics in 2009.

Autumn Begins With An Iowa Flood

Cedar Rapids 2008 Flood

Cedar Rapids 2008 Flood

There was a lot to make one cranky as summer ended yesterday, including the weather.

Extremely heavy rains are flooding parts of Iowa and the impact will soon be felt downstream.

The Cedar River is expected to crest at 24.1 feet next week in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the highest level after the record 31.12 foot crest on June 13, 2008.

“We have four days to get ready, and now is the time to start,” Mayor Ron Corbett said Thursday.

We’ve had a lot more time than that to get ready.

During Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training, conducted in Cedar Rapids in May 2015, Mayor Corbett made a presentation about the 2008 Cedar River flooding, how it impacted Cedar Rapids, and what actions were taken and being considered to mitigate damage from potential future floods. The next week will determine whether the plans and discussions were enough to prevent serious damage.

Senator Joni Ernst has been pushing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite completion of the Cedar Rapids Flood Control Project, recently in the Water Resources Development Act.

“This legislation includes my work to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the completion of the Cedar Rapids flood control project,” Ernst wrote in a Sept. 15 press release. “The provision emphasizes to the Army Corps of Engineers that Congress wants this project to remain a priority. I will continue working to ensure the Army Corps of Engineers understands the great need for this long-standing project to be completed in a timely and efficient manner.”

These efforts seem well intentioned, but too little, too late.

The connection between this flood and global warming is clear. When the atmosphere is warmer, its capacity to store water vapor increases. When it does rain, it can do so in heavy precipitation events in which a large amount of rain falls in a brief amount of time. The frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events has increased since World War II and that appears to be what happened in northeastern Iowa over the last few days.

Here’s an excerpt from a WHO-TV news article about flash flooding in Butler County. It tells the story:

BUTLER COUNTY, Iowa — Storms in northern and northeastern Iowa overnight caused some damage as they spawned tornadoes and dropped heavy rain – up to 10 inches – in some areas.

“We expect the crest this evening what we’re being told around 7 p.m. probably water levels similar to 2008 or more so,” said Jason Johnson, Butler County Sheriff.

Flooding from the Shell Rock River has cancelled classes in the North Butler School District for Thursday and many students gathered at the high school to help fill sandbags. Highway 14 on the way to Charles City is impassable because of water over the road.

Butler County Sheriff Johnson says there isn’t a widespread evacuation in Greene but some residents are moving to higher ground.

In Floyd County, 7.55” of rain was reported and Charles City saw 6.35”. The Little Cedar River is at moderate flood stage at Nashua and near Ionia. The rainfall total reported for Ionia is 6.24″.

Work will remedy the crankiness of summer’s end. One didn’t expect it to be sand bagging levies, homes and businesses to prevent damage from what is projected to be the second worst flood in Cedar Rapids history. It will get us through the weekend.

The newest flood begs the question of what’s next to mitigate damage from future flooding? Government involvement in a solution is necessary but it must be implemented faster than it has been. We also have to connect the dots between our personal actions, global warming and climate change more than we have.

For now, we’ll just have to deal with the existential reality of the flood, something I recall doing since the 1960s. It’s a way of sustaining our lives in a turbulent world, but we can do better.

Can Hipsters Stomach The Truth About Avocados From Mexico?

Photo Credit: Avocados from Mexico

Photo Credit: Avocados from Mexico

Can consumers buy avocados from Mexico at the grocery store, or in prepared guacamole with impunity?

Probably not.

Last week’s article “In Mexico, high avocado prices fueling deforestation” by Associated Press author Mark Stevenson explained why.

Americans’ love for avocados and rising prices for the highly exportable fruit are fueling the deforestation of central Mexico’s pine forests as farmers rapidly expand their orchards to feed demand.

Avocado trees flourish at about the same altitude and climate as the pine and fir forests in the mountains of Michoacan, the state that produces most of Mexico’s avocados. That has led farmers to wage a cat-and-mouse campaign to avoid authorities, thinning out the forests, planting young avocado trees under the forest canopy, and then gradually cutting back the forest as the trees grow to give them more sunlight.

“Even where they aren’t visibly cutting down forest, there are avocados growing underneath (the pine boughs), and sooner or later they’ll cut down the pines completely,” said Mario Tapia Vargas, a researcher at Mexico’s National Institute for Forestry, Farming and Fisheries Research.

Why does it matter?

Deforestation plays a key role in the release of greenhouse gases. Carbon stored in trees and other vegetation is released into the atmosphere as forests are converted to avocado plantations.

With the advance of climate change, securing adequate water to produce the fruit has increasingly been an issue in avocado growing regions. A video posted by the World Bank explained the problem and how farmers are coping. It’s pretty simple. In recent years there has been less rainfall in Michoacan, desiccating the soil. Farmers divert rainwater runoff to retention ponds for use during dry months. Avocados require twice the water of pine forests they replace, depriving downstream users of an essential resource.

If that’s not enough, these particular forests are part of the Monarch butterfly wintering grounds. Deforestation impedes the butterfly’s evolved life cycle.

You may have seen one of the web ads featuring celebrity chef Pati Jinich promoting avocado use for the trade association Avocados from Mexico. Here is an example:

When encountering these ads, I found Jinich endearing and her tips helpful. That is, if I were a user of avocados, something she and the trade association is trying to change with the promotion. My experience with guacamole has been a tablespoon served on the side of Mexican food with other condiments, so not much.

One doesn’t always know what to do about stories like Stevenson’s. How extensive is the deforestation problem in avocado growing regions? How will downstream users react to deprivation of water from the mountains? How are workers treated on avocado plantations? Can we live without Monarch butterflies, and will another plot of forest gone really make the difference for this pressured species?

I don’t know, but here’s a relevant question raised by Joanna Blythman in The Guardian, “Can hipsters stomach the unpalatable truth about avocado toast?”

“When we pick up a fashionable import like avocado,” Blythman wrote, “we need to be sure that it not only benefits our personal health and well being, but also that of the communities that grow it.”

The issues around deforestation are well known. To the extent avocados add to the problem users should be driven to do something.

That may be as simple as asking the server to hold the guacamole.

Chuck Isenhart Addresses Iowa Clean Water Strategy

Raccoon River

Raccoon River

On Wednesday, Aug. 3, State Rep. Chuck Isenhart issued a press release addressing the need for Iowa government to update the state’s clean water strategy.

Following a visit to Louisiana, where he consulted with stakeholders regarding Gulf of Mexico hypoxia, Isenhart wrote a letter to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey urging the Water Resources Coordinating Council to adopt a 20 percent reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus load. Read his July 17 letter here.

Isenhart is ranking member of the House Environmental Protection Committee and a leading voice for the environment and on energy issues in the Iowa legislature. Following is his press release in its entirety.

Time to update state clean water strategy

In light of Gov. Terry Branstad’s renewed call for more funding for water quality initiatives, State Rep. Chuck Isenhart (D-Dubuque) has asked the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to update Iowa’s nutrient reduction strategy to establish performance goals to be achieved with any new money.

In a letter to the Water Resources Coordinating Council — chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey — Isenhart has encouraged the body of state and federal officials to recommend that Iowa adopt the interim milestones endorsed by the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force

Northey is co-chair of that task force. Isenhart is ranking member on the House Environmental Protection Committee and liaison to the state Watershed Planning Advisory Council.

The Gulf task force’s 2015 report to Congress called for a 20 percent nitrogen and phosphorus load reduction at the watershed scale by the year 2025.

“After three years of demonstration projects, we know what works,” Isenhart said. “Time to move to the implementation stage and scale up our efforts with widespread adoption of effective pollution-reduction practices. But first we owe it to Iowa citizens to show them how we will be accountable and what their money will buy: How clean will the water be and when will it happen.”

Isenhart noted that, while the Gulf task force is looking for documented results by 2025, Governor Branstad’s funding plan doesn’t kick in until 2029. “That is a glaring oversight, hopefully not intentional,” he said.

During the last legislative session, Isenhart and State Rep. Marti Anderson (D-Des Moines) offered an “Iowa Clean Water Partnership Plan,” based on their participation in the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Iowa’s Soil and Water Future Task Force.

If adopted, the plan would create a clean water trust fund comprised of both public and private monies contributed by farm producers through water quality checkoff programs. The legislators plan to improve and re-introduce the bill in 2017.

“In the meantime, we will continue to educate and learn from Iowans during the upcoming election campaign season,” Isenhart continued. “We want to know if we are on the right track. We also want to know if Iowa voters still want us to raise the sales tax by 3/8 cent to fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust fund they put in the Constitution with a 2010 referendum.

“If Iowans still want it — and surveys indicate that they do — that would bring the greatest, most consistent funding that a long-term enterprise like this requires,” he said.

This week, Isenhart is attending the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Chicago. He serves on NCSL’s Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee.

Isenhart has offered an amendment to the NCSL water policy directive that would prioritize nitrogen and phosphorus pollution as a water quality improvement objective in the Mississippi River basin and “wherever such pollution from pervasive point and non-point sources creates serious hypoxic conditions in waters of economic, ecological and/or recreational significance.”

The proposal also calls on the federal government to “foster and assist in the financing and support of working groups of state legislators within major watersheds where water pollution is a multi-state responsibility.”

Such working groups or compacts could be formed to “coordinate the development of strategies, policies, statutes, regulations and spending priorities for the attainment of clean water, including goals, timelines and accountability for performance,” Isenhart explained. “Right now, many state legislatures are AWOL when it comes to clean water. We need to get in the boat.”

What’s After Paris?

Gore ParisLast week, Al Gore reflected on the ten years since he founded The Climate Reality Project. Following is an excerpt from an email he sent to the Climate Reality Leaders he trained.

Ten years ago, I trained the first group of Climate Reality Leaders in my barn in Carthage, Tenn. I asked them to join me in spreading the word about the urgency of the climate crisis, and I was impressed by the commitment and passion they demonstrated. I’m even more impressed now as the work they’ve done in their own communities and beyond has helped to spark a global movement for action on climate change.

In the decade since that first group came together, I’ve trained more than 10,000 Climate Reality Leaders who are just as committed to making the world a better place for future generations. The Climate Reality Leadership Corps is active in more than 130 countries around the world and represents people from all backgrounds and walks of life. I’ve enjoyed working alongside teachers, scientists, community leaders, business owners, students, and so many others who all share a dedication to promoting solutions to the climate crisis.

Ten years of concerted action by the Climate Reality Leadership Corps came together last year when 195 countries committed to working together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions planet-wide as part of the Paris Agreement. Now, it’s time for us to continue our work together and push countries to strengthen and implement their commitments so we can make the promise of Paris a reality.

Even as we look to the future, I want to make sure we take a moment to appreciate the last 10 years and all of the amazing work that you’ve done to help share the truth about the science and solutions of climate change with your friends, family members, colleagues, and everyone else.

I want to thank each and every one of you for what you’ve done in your own communities to bring attention to the most important issue of our time.

It is easier to play a role in the global effort to mitigate the causes of global warming and climate change when thousands of others are doing the same thing, each in their own way. That’s been my personal benefit from The Climate Reality Project.

I joined in Chicago (August 2013) and have no regrets. I learned the story behind Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, and the science behind it. Gore presented a broad mix of information about what is happening in our environment because of global warming and how it impacts communities.

Since then, I’ve presented my story to individuals and groups in the area and seek opportunities to do more. I served as a mentor at the Cedar Rapids training last year and have written about the need to act on climate change in my blogs, and in letters to the editor of our local newspaper. When I worked as a freelance correspondent, climate change informed my world-view and was a context in which I framed stories whether they were about farming or forestry, the school board or city council, or about new business openings or individual achievements.

Talking about global warming and climate change has become part of my life.

If the Paris agreement was the culmination of ten years of work, as Gore said it was, the work is not finished.

With a sharp focus on identifying the impact on our climate of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels, Gore and many allies made the point about seeking alternatives. As solar and wind-generated electricity reach price parity with fossil fuels (and they are doing so faster than anyone imagined) the coal industry is in disarray and nuclear power is waning.

There is a cloud on the hopeful horizon of renewable energy. Buoyed by exploration and discovery of oil and shale gas reserves, companies like British Petroleum, once green washing us with their interest in renewables, divested their interests in solar and wind energy this decade to focus on oil and gas.

I predict declining prices of solar power will help it dominate the future of municipal and regional electricity generation. Already companies like Central Iowa Power Company (CIPCO) are changing their tune. Not so long ago they were promoting nuclear power at their annual shareholder’s meeting. Today, they are building solar arrays.

If there is a blind spot in Gore’s laser focus on burning fossil fuels it is the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from other sources. He acknowledges them, but they have not taken the spotlight. There’s work to be done regarding manufacturing, agriculture, mining and other aspects of our industrialized global economy.

Every time I talk to an Iowa farmer Gore’s work can be heard in the conversation. Not so much from me, but from farmers. They’ll tell you the hydrology cycle seems different even if they dislike Al Gore and don’t acknowledge it is related to global warming. They don’t have to and I don’t need ratification of my own beliefs.

Like so many others I am focused on the work of mitigating the causes of climate change. You may not know it, but it is baked into everything I do.

What have you done lately to create a better environment for all of us to enjoy?

The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (it’s not the gluten)

We hope this isn’t true.

The stories became far too frequent to ignore.

E-mails from folks with allergic or digestive issues to wheat in the United States experienced no symptoms whatsoever when they tried eating pasta on vacation in Italy.

Confused parents wondering why wheat consumption sometimes triggered autoimmune reactions in their children but not at other times.

In my own home, I’ve long pondered why my husband can eat the wheat I prepare at home, but he experiences negative digestive effects eating even a single roll in a restaurant.

There is clearly something going on with wheat that is not well known by the general public. It goes far and beyond organic versus nonorganic, gluten or hybridization because even conventional wheat triggers no symptoms for some who eat wheat in other parts of the world.

What indeed is going on with wheat?

For quite some time, I secretly harbored the notion that wheat in the United States must, in fact, be genetically modified. GMO wheat secretly invading the North American food supply seemed the only thing that made sense and could account for the varied experiences I was hearing about.

I reasoned that it couldn’t be the gluten or wheat hybridization. Gluten and wheat hybrids have been consumed for thousands of years. It just didn’t make sense that this could be the reason for so many people suddenly having problems with wheat and gluten in general in the past 5-10 years.

Finally, the answer came over dinner a couple of months ago with a friend who was well versed in the wheat production process. I started researching the issue for myself, and was, quite frankly, horrified at what I discovered.

The good news is that the reason wheat has become so toxic in the United States is not because it is secretly GMO as I had feared (thank goodness!).

The bad news is that the problem lies with the manner in which wheat is harvested by conventional wheat farmers.

You’re going to want to sit down for this one. I’ve had some folks burst into tears in horror when I passed along this information before.
Wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as withered, dead wheat plants are less taxing on the farm equipment and allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest

Pre-harvest application of the herbicide Roundup or other herbicides containing the deadly active ingredient glyphosate to wheat and barley as a desiccant was suggested as early as 1980. It has since become routine over the past 15 years and is used as a drying agent 7-10 days before harvest within the conventional farming community.

(Click here to read the entire article)

Opposition Vows Oil Will Never Flow Through Bakken Pipeline

Bakken Pipeline Proposed

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) met yesterday and voted 2-1 to allow pipeline construction to start in areas where they have voluntary easements.

Iowans have stood strong working to prevent the pipeline for months on end and we’re not going anywhere.

This pipeline fight is still far from over. Dakota Access can start construction of segments, but oil will never flow through this pipeline:

Dakota Access doesn’t have their Army Corps of Engineers’ authorizations yet for 64 water crossings.

Dakota Access had their Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sovereign lands permit revoked after Native Burial grounds were found in the pipeline’ s path.

Over a hundred of you gathered for the Broken Heartland rally right after the decision to demonstrate exactly the type of energy we need. Thank you!

Here is what we’re doing next, and we need you with us:

Landowners and activists who are willing to consider non-violent civil disobedience are being asked to step forward. Let us know you’re interested by replying to this email.

Keep the summer of resistance going by joining the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition’s flotilla on the Des Moines River on Saturday, June 25! Click here for more information.

Stay tuned for more details on our next steps!

For a better Iowa,

State Policy Director

P.S. Check out all the news coverage of yesterday here!

We’re currently at 4,784 Facebook followers. Help us get to 5,000 fans

Action Alert: DNR Factory Farm Rules Review

Factory farms poisoning IowaAction Alert from Iowa Citizens for Commuinity Improvement (CCI)

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reviews factory farm rules once every five years. This is our chance to strengthen the rules and hold factory farms accountable!

We need YOU at the DNR hearing in Ainsworth to stand up for a Clean Water Iowa. Our strength is in numbers—in people power.

Register to join us here! 

Here is what you need to know:

When: Tuesday, May 31 at 10 am | Please join us for a prep session at 9:30 am at the location below!

Where: Washington County Conservation Board, Education Center, Marr Park, 2943 Highway 92,  Ainsworth

We would love for you to share your story about why we have to stop factory farms.

We’re fighting for rules that include:

  • Tough regulations to protect our water, air, and communities
  • Accountability by closing corporate factory farm loopholes
  • Transparency of manure application records and from factory farm stakeholders
  • A moratorium on new and expanding factory farms!

We’re in a water crisis because of factory farm manure pollution. Voluntary compliance isn’t working. It’s time to close factory farm loopholes in order to protect People and Planet!

I hope you can join us: register here!

They DUMP it, you DRINK it, we won’t stop ’til they clean it up!

Executive Director

P.S. Can’t join us in-person? Submit your comment online demanding stronger rules to hold factory farms accountable here. We need 1,000 comments by June: help us get there!

We’re currently at 4,72 Facebook followers. Help us get to 5,000 fans!