The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released its proposed rules for regulating concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Iowa. Unfortunately, the rules don’t go far enough to protect Iowa’s waterways.
The DNR’s proposed rules would allow industrial livestock operations to continue to pollute Iowa’s already impaired waterways through the overapplication of manure on farmland.
Tell the DNR to strengthen the state’s CAFO rules!
As part of the rulemaking process, the DNR is seeking public comments on the proposed rules. This is our chance to call for stricter oversight of CAFOs.
Tell the DNR to strengthen the state’s CAFO rules by emailing your comments to AFO@dnr.iowa.gov by October 21!
Here’s how the proposed rules fail to protect Iowa’s waterways:
- They don’t protect karst terrain from manure, which can enter drinking water sources and streams.
- They continue to allow excess manure and fertilizer to be applied to Iowa’s farmland, where it can leach nitrate into groundwater or run through tile lines into rivers.
- They remove the power of the DNR to stop the most egregious proposals that threaten water quality.
The proposed rules don’t fulfill the DNR’s obligation to protect Iowans and their right to clean water.
Feel free to use the sample comment provided below or write your own.
I am [insert name], an Iowa resident. I’m writing to urge you to please strengthen the state’s proposed rules for regulating industrial livestock operations.
DNR’s proposed rules would not protect Iowa’s groundwater and drinking water sources from CAFO pollution, especially in karst terrain. As a result, thousands of private wells will continue to be polluted with unsafe levels of bacteria and nitrate.
The proposed rules also allow excess manure to be applied on farmland. The nitrate in that manure will leach nitrate into groundwater or run through tile lines into our rivers. The rules must require manure management plans to properly determine crop needs and account for other fertilizer sources.
DNR’s duty to protect water means that it must stop the most egregious proposals that threaten water quality. DNR should not withdraw the rule allowing DNR to evaluate and stop the proposals that pose the most serious threats to water quality.
To protect Iowa’s waterways, I ask you to adopt rules requiring greater separation from karst terrain for new construction, proper nutrient accounting in manure management plans and online submission, and consideration of environmental factors before approving CAFOs.