Our big ideas to fight factory farms

Our big ideas to fight factory farms

On January 16, over 100 Iowans showed up at the capitol to lobby for a moratorium on factory farms until there are fewer than 100 polluted waterbodies.  CCI Action members joined the Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture for a press conference where Senator Johnson and Representative Steckman announced their support for a moratorium and introduced a moratorium bill in each chamber.  Following the press conference (see the press roundup below), CCI Action members prepared for a series of meetings with key legislative leaders that have important roles to advance the moratorium bill.

We focused our legislative meetings on two big ideas: a moratorium on factory farms and making polluters (the factory farms) pay for cleaning up our waterbodies.  Our goals were to:

  • get legislators on record about where they stand on these issues,
  • get more co-sponsors on the moratorium bill
  • schedule a sub-committee on the moratorium bill.

We still have work to do to get more co-sponsors on the bills and to get Sen. Rozenboom to schedule a sub-committee meeting.

Although we still have a long way to go to pass a moratorium, it’s clear that our work to stop factory farms in communities, at the DNR, and at the statehouse has led us here.  We are here to play the long game.  We’ll keep fighting until Iowa has an agriculture system that works for people, planet, workers, and eaters.

Gandhi said, “First they ignore you.  Then they laugh at you.  Then they fight you.  Then you win.”

Highlights: 

  • At least 2 democrats agreed to co-sponsor the moratorium and/or local control bills.
  • CCI Action members helped lift up the moratorium issue in statewide papers.
  • CCI Action members met with two of three members of the Moratorium sub-committee.

Bills we lobbied on and descriptions:

  • We support:
    • SF 2008 – CAFO Moratorium
      Establishes a moratorium on building or expanding new CAFO confinement buildings or manure storage structures for swine. Exempts CAFOs under 300 animal units.
    • HF 456/SF 2006 – Local Control
      An act authorizing counties to adopt county legislation relating to the siting of confinement feeding operations.
  • We oppose:
    • SF 512 – Water Quality Funding
      Senate File 512 calls for spending up to $27 million a year for unspecified water projects beginning in 2021, with the funding coming from sources currently used for schools, local governments and building infrastructure. Senate File 512 sets no goals. The bill does call for annual reporting, but only of the expenditures made, not the results obtained. It calls for a “program review committee” that would not meet until Sept. 1, 2027, and then only every 10 years.
    • HF 612 – Water Quality Funding + Pollution Trading
      SSB 1034 moves $229 million from the state’s existing infrastructure fund over 13 years, and transfers a metered water fee from the general fund to fund voluntary water quality efforts. This bill also includes Pollution Trading, a “cap-and-trade system” that essentially makes pollution a commodity through credits and offsets which allow corporations to profit from polluting industries.

Meetings & legislator responses:

Name Do you support a moratorium on factory farms, SF 2008? Will you vote no on any bill that makes taxpayer carry the burden of clean up Iowa’s water without a funding mechanism from corporate agribusiness? Other
Kayla Lyon, Ag Policy Advisor to Governor Reynolds ·       Cannot comment until Governor Reynolds sees the bill ·       Reynolds supports the SF512, bad Senate Water quality bill.

·       Reynolds wants to sign a water quality bill asap.

·       Reynolds wants everyone to be part of the water quality discussion – farmers, land owners, retailers

·       Said that ag already contributes to funding Iowa’s water crisis though random cost-share programs, like buffer strips, around the state.

·       Asked us if DNR followed up on Master Matrix petition by forming a Matrix working group – no DNR has not created a working group.
Sen. Rozenboom (R), Mahaska, Appanoose, Marion, Monroe, and Wapello Counties

 

·       Chair of Moratorium Sub-committee

 

·       No.

·       From Iowa Public Radio interview: “I just don’t think that’s the right way to approach whatever problem they’re trying to address,” Rozenboom said, while awaiting a meeting with environmental activists.  “We’re trying to grow Iowa, not hurt Iowa.”

·       Will you schedule a sub-committee hearing? “Likely not.”

·       Farmers have spent 2 billion of their own money to improve Iowa’s water.

·       Supports SF512, bad Senate water quality bill.

·       Asked what is a factory farm.

·       Said E.coli doesn’t make you sick.

·       Said Iowa’s water quality is better than ever.

·       Said Lake Red Rock is polluted from seagull poop.

·     Owns factory farms housing at least 5,000 hogs with his brother.

Sen. Taylor (D), Henry, Jefferson, Lee, and Washington Counties

 

·       Member of Moratorium Sub-committee

·       Has not read the current bill.  If the same as last year – then yes, he supports a moratorium.

·       Will you help us get a sub-committee hearing scheduled? Yes, but as a member of the minority party, he doesn’t have much power.

·       Said he won’t steal any money from school kids.

·       Wouldn’t say directly that polluters should pay but did say that everyone has a role in the funding source.

·       Supports 3/8 cent sales tax increase.

·       We asked Sen. Taylor if he’d consider holding a mock hearing if Rozenboom refuses to schedule a meeting.  He said he’d check with his leadership but wasn’t opposed to the idea.
Rep. Lee Hein (R), Jones and Delaware Counties ·       No. ·       Says he’s probably opposed to pollution trading but will need to read bills.

·       Said farmers pay a fee for manure management plans in response to Barb suggesting they pay .0002%.

·       Thinks SF512 is viable

·       Hein insists impaired water bodies isn’t always negative. Sometimes it could mean the water is just too clean for fish to live.
Rep. Jarad Klein (R), Washington and Keokuk Counties No ·       No comment. ·       Jarad said impaired designation could be in just a very small area that happened to be tested, and the rest of the waterway may not be impaired.
Tony Phillips, Staff for Speaker of the House, Linda Upmeyer ·       No comment. ·       No comment. ·       No comment.
Sen. Kevin Kinney (D), Johnson, Keokuk, and Washington Counties ·       Didn’t comment. ·       Didn’t comment. ·       Didn’t comment on whether or not he would co-sponsor the local control or moratorium bills.
Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad (D), Polk County ·       Supports a moratorium. ·       Thinks taxpayers have already been shouldering the burden of cleaning up Iowa’s water.

·       Doesn’t support HF612 or SF512.

·       Said that he’ll co-sponsor the moratorium and local control bill!
Rep. Bruce Hunter (D), Polk County ·       Supports a moratorium. ·       Thinks polluters should pay.

·       Against HF612 & SF512.

·       Said that he’ll co-sponsor the moratorium and local control bill!
Rep. Art Staed (D), Linn County ·       Supports a moratorium. ·       Need to follow-up on this one. ·       Need to follow-up to confirm if he’ll co-sponsor the local control and moratorium bills.
Sen. Rob Hogg (D), Linn County ·       Needs to read the bill but wasn’t too excited about supporting a moratorium. ·       Agrees that polluters should pay.

·       Doesn’t support SF512.

·       Is introducing a bill that creates a “water commission agency” (bill not introduced yet so not sure exactly what the bill will do).

·       Need to follow-up on whether or not he’ll co-sponsor local control or moratorium bills.

 

Co-sponsors on bills:

**Be thinking about how we get more co-sponsors**

SF 2008 – CAFO Moratorium

Senators: Johnson

Representatives: Still pending introduction to the House.  Steckman will be sponsor. (pending: Rep. Hunter & Abdul-Samad)

HF 456/SF 2006 – Local Control –

Representatives: Steckman, Bennett, Mascher, Winckler (pending: Rep. Hunter & Abdul-Samad)

Senators: Johnson

 

Press roundup:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2018/01/16/coalition-calls-iowa-lawmakers-support-cafo-moratorium-until-water-quality-improves/1034756001/

http://siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/iowa-coalition-seeks-to-halt-large-scale-livestock-buildings/article_d87e1d13-d3ba-5023-be4d-ded248604da9.html

http://whotv.com/2018/01/16/proposed-moratorium-on-new-livestock-feeding-operations/

https://www.radioiowa.com/2018/01/16/groups-push-for-more-laws-regulating-livestock-operations/

http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/iowans-seek-to-halt-large-scale-livestock-buildings/article_c2266ff1-ca6d-5f1a-ac5e-f942775ddc85.html

http://iowapublicradio.org/post/hog-farm-critics-enough-enough#stream/0

 

Next steps:

  • Lobby, lobby, lobby
  • Attend the Stop Factory Farms Summit
    • When: Saturday, January 27 at 2:00-4:00pm
    • Where: RSVP Building (Senior Center), 749 2nd St, Webster City
  • Letters to the Editor: Contact Jess at jess@iowacci.org if you have experience with CAFOs and want to submit a letter to the editor.

 

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