Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal Must Block Floor Debate on Bad Factory Farm De-Regulation Bill

Bad Manure Loophole Bill Passes Iowa House April 1 83-16 After Environmental Protections Amendment Fails

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) has used the power of his office to block bad bills from being debated in the past, and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) members call on him to block floor debate on a factory farm de-regulation bill that passed the Iowa House on April 1 83-16.

Representative Chuck Isenart (D-Dubuque) offered an amendment on the floor of the House that would prohibit the underground pits at so-called “mothballed” factory farms from being used for manure storage by other operators who can’t properly and safely manage their manure volumes, but the environmental protection amendment failed to gain support from the majority party on the final House vote.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association supports the bill because it gives factory farms a way around the 2009 law banning liquid manure application on frozen and snow-covered ground, without having to foot the bill to upgrade their manure storage structures.

“Factory farms produce too much manure, and they would rather risk our water quality by dumping unregulated toxic waste into abandoned facilities then do the right thing and reduce their herd size or build emergency manure storage on their own dime,” said Jim Yungclas, a CCI member and retired ag extension officer from Poweshiek County.

“Senator Gronstal, factory farms have had five years to come into compliance with the manure on snow ban.  Iowa CCI members call on you and your caucus to do the right thing, stand up for clean water, and stop this bill from becoming law.”

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report which stated more than 55 percent of the nation’s waters are not fit to safely support aquatic life.  The report noted the problem is worse in states like Iowa because of factory farm pollution.

Iowa has more than 628 polluted waterways and has suffered more than 800 documented manure spills since 1995.

A 2007 study by the Iowa Policy Project stated that factory farm manure “may be the largest agricultural polluter of Iowa’s streams and lakes”.

Sixty percent of Iowans believe “we need stronger laws to stop factory farms from polluting our air and water,” according to a September 27-29 telephone poll of 572 active Iowa voters conducted by Public Policy Polling.

TAKE ACTION! Take 2 minutes to message Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal and tell him to block this bad legislation and put people before politics, profits, and polluters.

Tags: , , , , , ,