CCI members pack Carroll environmental hearing

Hearings to be held in Marion 1/19 and Ames 1/24

(Photo: Carroll CCI member Vern Tigges speaks out for stronger and more effective public oversight of factory farms at an environmental hearing in Carroll on Jan 17.)

Iowa CCI Action Fund members in Western Iowa attended an environmental hearing in Carroll Jan. 17  to push the Iowa legislature stand up for clean air and water and crack down on factory farm polluters.

The “Environmental Listening Post” was organized by Senate Natural Resources Committee Chair Dick Dearden (D-Des Moines) and Representative Chuck Isenhart (D-Dubuque), ranking member of House Environmental Protections committee.  Representative Dan Muhlbauer (D-Manilla) and Senator Mark Segebart (R-Vail) were also there.

Ten CCI Action Fund members testified that local control, stronger permitting standards, increased separation distances, an end to factory farm tax breaks and loopholes, and a fully-funded DNR are the environmental policy proposals needed to start cleaning up Iowa’s water.

“My home is surrounded by 5,000 corporate hogs all within a half mile of my home,” said Lori Nelson, a CCI Action Fund member from Bayard.  “The air pollution they create has greatly diminished our quality of life.  They spread manure right up to our fence line, which is only 100 feet from our deck.  We are then prisoners in our own home for 2-3 weeks until the stench gets down to a more tolerable level.  They also spread the manure across the road from me, right next to a small water way that flows into the Raccoon River.”

“We also have to deal with dumpsters overflowing with dead rotting hogs for days.  The smell and flies are unbearable and we are concerned about our health.  My horse has developed a breathing problem to which I believe is due to her environment because I had her scoped and there was nothing physically wrong with her.”

“This is not just happening to me, thousands of Iowan’s across the state have similar stories.  Iowa now has 628 polluted waterways & factory farm pollution and other farm runoff is the primary cause. Something needs to be done.  We need solutions that directly attack the problem, solutions like local control.  Local control does not mean 99 sets of rules, one for each county.  We would still have a set of state standards, but it would allow counties to pass ordinances as to where factory farms should not be built.  Local control would allow people to have a say, which is not the case right now.”

“We also need stronger permitting standards, increased separation distances, an end to tax breaks for factory farms, and a fully funded DNR.”

Interesting side note: the odor of manure was very strong at the park where the meeting was held.


Take Action

Dearden and Isenhart will take their environmental roadshow to Marion on Sat., January 19 and Ames on Thurs, January 24.


Learn More

  • A copy of CCI Action Fund members’ 2013 environmental policy agenda may be viewed here.
  • Iowa CCI Action Fund members’ full, broad-based 2013 legislative agenda may be viewed here.


Join the fight

  • Contact us for more information
  • Join as an Iowa CCI Action Fund member today or chip in $20 to support our organizing on this issue.
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