An effort to speed up the state’s ban on spreading manure on frozen or snow covered ground failed Tuesday, after a legislative committee declined to change the rules. Last spring, some lawmakers threatened to gut the law by exempting all existing livestock facilities, so the D.N.R. drafted rules that give producers five years to build additional manure storage structures before complying with the ban.
Jack Troeger of Ames argued in favor of speeding up the process. “This is a huge crisis. Let’s see, 700 leaks in just the last 15 years. 700! Give me a break. And you want five more years to fix it. Haven’t you had enough years to fix it?”, Troger says.
The group “Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement” says the delay violates the Federal Clean Water Act and will allow more manure to run into the state’s streams and rivers. Bloomfield farmer Garry Klicker calls it a travesty that producers can have so much time to comply.
“Then what? Another five year delay, another ten year delay? How long are going to let these very few operators pollute the water and the air the rest of us breath and drink?, Klicker says.
Senate president Jack Kibbie, a Democrat from Emmetsburg, says small producers, particularly dairy farmers in northeast Iowa need more time to comply with the ban. Kibbie says the state is doing more than ever to prevent pollution and delaying implementation is a reasonable request.