Legislation to weaken Clean Water Fight stopped

VICTORY at the Iowa Statehouse – CCI Action members mobilize to stop legislation aimed at gutting gains won through CCI’s Clean Water Fight

You’ve been making waves on the clean water issue in Iowa, and folks across the state are taking note. Since the DNR signed an agreement to implement the Federal Clean Water Act with the EPA In September 2013 because of your organizing, our foes have taken notice too.  They don’t like your work to ensure the DNR:

  • Issues Clean Water Act Permits for all factory farms
  • Conducts good inspections that find problems and fix problems at factory farms
  • Enforces tough fines and penalties that deter future pollution when factory farm manure spills happen
  • Practices transparency – a public database of manure spills, factory farm information, inspection information, etc.

The factory farm industry knows that if DNR follows through on our demands, they will be exposed as the polluters they really are and forced to clean up their act (and our water in the process!)

This has been most evident so far in 2015 at our statehouse, where pro-factory farm legislator Representative Jarad Klein, District 78 – Washington County, introduced a bill to roll back and deregulate major gains won through CCI organizing over the past few years.

If passed, House File 586 (HF586)would have:

  • Limited factory farm/DNR transparency by moving Manure Management Plan (MMP) Documents out of local communities;
  • Given factory farm operators the ability to stop DNR inspectors from doing their job by kicking them off their land at the start of an inspection;
  • Weakened enforcement of Manure Management Plans by making DNR determinate if the violation was ‘on purpose’ or ‘on accident’; and
  • Required less information posted on manure applicator vehicles, making it harder to identify which applicator is in violation.

Our CCI Action Citizen Lobby Team strategized a plan to stop the bill.  They targeted House Democrats, new legislators and a few targeted Republicans to vote no on the bill to send a strong message to the Senate to kill the bill.  While lobbying, Citizen Lobbyist Brenda Brink met one Republican legislator who felt he was mislead about the purpose of the bill.  He was told that County Offices were running out of room to store MMPs, and after asking around he found that just wasn’t true.  This Republican Representative agreed to get as many Republicans to vote no on the bill as well.

We continued our lobbying efforts by sending out an action alert to folks like you that generated over 200 emails to House Representatives!  But we didn’t stop there, we went to the capitol almost every week to lobby as many legislators as we could about clean water and holding factory farms accountable – and it paid off.  We successfully stopped the bill, preventing it from coming to a vote before the 2nd legislative funnel date. We heard that House Republican Leadership did not bring up HF586 for a vote because they knew it wouldn’t pass and would likely split the House Republican Caucus.

Good job everyone – stopping a bad factory farm bill in the Republican-led House is a HUGE VICTORY.

We are making waves on the clean water/factory farm issue.  Now is the time to fight harder than ever for an agricultural system that puts People and the Planet First! Onward!

 

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