DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will officially release for public comment, a Clean Water Act rule to permit factory farm polluters during today’s Environmental Protection Commission meeting at the DNR’s Air Quality Control Building, 7900 Hickman Road, Windsor Heights.
Today’s meeting will kick-off a month-long public comment process that will include at least six in-person hearings in Ainsworth, Calmar, Carroll, Des Moines, Mason City and Spencer.
A work plan signed between the DNR and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Sept. 11, 2013, requires the DNR to finish the new rule by the end of the year. The work plan was won despite intense opposition from Governor Branstad’s office and is the result of more than seven years of organizing by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Environmental Integrity Project and the Iowa Sierra Club.
Factory farm expansion is also up, with more than 900 of the state’s 8,500 factory farms being built since Jan. 1, 2012.
An Iowa CCI estimate using two different scientific counting methodologies finds that Iowa’s 21 million hogs produce between five and ten billion gallons of toxic manure every year.