First bad factory farm bill of 2013 introduced…by the DNR!

New bill strikes public notice for Clean Water Act permits

 

Only one week into the 2013 legislative session and the first bad factory farm bill has been introduced, Senate Study Bill 1005.

SSB 1005, requested by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR):

  • eliminates a requirement that a public notice be placed in in local-area newspapers when factory farms apply for Clean Water Act permits, and
  • requires the DNR – which is severely understaffed – to respond to permit applications within 90 days or the permit is automatically approved.

This bill seems to be a deliberate attempt by the Branstad/Reynolds Administration to undercut sweeping new changes being demanded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Branstad, Reynolds and the corporate-controlled DNR know that big changes in the way the state of Iowa enforces the Clean Water Act are coming, and removing public notice requirements from the permitting process is one of the ways they can undercut the upcoming reforms,” said Lori Nelson, a CCI Action  Fund member from Bayard.  “The other way they’ve already started pushing back is by only funding five new DNR field staff when it’s clear we need at least new 13 staff to get the job done.”

Iowa needs stronger permitting standards and local control – not a system where the people are shut out.

The EPA has already threatened to take over enforcement of the Clean Water Act because DNR is not doing it’s job. This bill pushes Iowa even farther away from compliance with the Clean Water Act.

But equally disturbing is the attempt to hide vital public information from everyday Iowans by striking public notice. More often than not, public notices are how members find out about proposed factory farms in their area.

 

What’s next:

  • The Senate Natural Resources and Environment sub-committee – Sen. Brian Schoenjahn (D – Arlington), Sen. Joe Seng (D – Davenport)  and Sen. Sandra Greiner (R – Washington) – are holding a hearing on this bill in the Iowa Senate tomorrow, Wednesday January 23 at 2:00 PM.
  • We expect a companion bill to come up in the House.

 

Take Action:

 

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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We’ll keep you posted on what comes out of this meeting. Click LIKE and TWEET to let your friends know about this bad bill.

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