The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission voted Tuesday to throw out a petition regarding the applying of manure on fields. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement asked the board to close a loophole that allows the application of manure on frozen or snow-covered ground for some operations for five years.
I.C.C.I. spokesman David Goodner says the commission’s reason for not allowing the petition was a lack of resources at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to enforce the rule. Goodner says, “The justification for voting it down was that the D.N.R. does not have adequate staff to take out the rule-making package at the same time it brings the agency into compliance with the federal clean water act.”
Goodner says following the vote, I.C.C.I. leaders decided to take their case to Governor Chet Culver’s campaign office in Des Moines.
“Culver is a sitting governor,” Goodner says. “He says that he supports clean water and local control over the citing of factory farms and we asked him to take action now and use his executive authority to close the loophole, which is something that D.N.R. legal staff has told us that the governor can do.”
Goodner says I.C.C.I. also sent a letter to Culver’s opponent in the governor’s race, Republican Terry Branstad, outlining their concerns about the frozen manure rule and delivered a list of other key environmental issues they want acted upon by whoever’s elected in November.
Goodner says their next step is meeting with EPA regional administrator Karl Brooks to ensure Iowa’s D.N.R. is following the rules of the Clean Water Act.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton