UPDATE – The Iowa Senate passed SF 2370. It is now before the Iowa House. Please call your legislators and ask them to remove the language on Executive Order Number 10 from this bill!

A bill before the Iowa Senate would permanently prevent the DNR from strengthening factory farm rules and regulations.

A section of Senate File 2370 would codify Executive Order Number 10 (EO10), Governor Reynolds’ directive to reduce the overall regulatory burden of Iowa’s rules and regulations across all state agencies.

If passed, SF 2370 would have a direct influence on how factory farms are regulated by permanently:

  • Prohibiting the DNR from strengthening current CAFO rules and regulations in Chapter 65 of the Iowa code.
  • Requiring a rigorous retrospective analysis for proposed rules to determine if the costs imposed by the rules justify their benefits. This serves the CAFO industry, not Iowans.
  • Removing restrictive language and determining less restrictive alternatives to a proposed rule.
  • Requiring the DNR to go through a new rulemaking process from scratch every five years, further weakening CAFO regulations.
  • Enabling the DNR to forgo public comments for a rule or retrospective analysis if it finds good cause that the input would be “unnecessary, impracticable or contrary to the public interest.”

We already see how EO10 directly impacted the recent Chapter 65 revision, which included a few new protections for CAFOs built in risky karst terrain. The governor’s office refused to approve the much needed improvements because they don’t  comply with EO10. As a result, rural residents with private wells remain at risk for high nitrate consumption, which studies link to several cancers and birth defects.  

Iowa needs stronger factory farm regulations, not weaker ones. SF 2370 benefits no one but the factory farm industry.

Contact your legislators today and tell them to VOTE NO ON THE SECTION ON EO 10 from SF 2370. . Click here for a sample letter. Find your legislator here

The health and well-being of Iowans should come before the financial interests of the multinational, multibillion dollar livestock industry! 

 

The 2024 Iowa Legislative Session is moving along and bills that made it through the first funnel are now being debated more widely across both chambers. Our legislators need to hear from us to know why we will hold them accountable to stop bills that hurt the people and places we love!

Senate File 2371 (proposed by Senator Annette Sweeney, District 27, Hardin County) would allow manure from an open feedlot or animal truck wash facility to be applied to fields in an emergency situation before the Iowa DNR has approved or denied a submitted nutrient management plan. In current code, these facilities are required to have a nutrient management plan fully reviewed and approved by DNR before spreading any manure from their structures.

Talking points in opposition of SF 2371:

  • Changing the rules to allow manure to be spread before a nutrient management plan is approved threatens the integrity of the entire process of having a nutrient management plan in the first place.
  • An open feedlot shouldn’t be collecting manure before they have an approved nutrient management plan thus avoiding “emergency situations.”
  • Changing the rules opens the door for further deregulation of our livestock farming as it relates to water quality. Without having the necessary approval by the DNR in these cases, this risks over-application of manure that seeps into our groundwater and runs off into our waterways – furthering our water quality crisis.
  • This bill is written for a very rare case where a farmer has started collecting manure before they have a plan approved – we should not be changing our code for rare cases because that will cause cases of mismanagement where this loophole is needed to become more commonplace.

In fact, this bill was introduced into the Senate Agriculture committee, headed by Sen. Mike Sexton whose wife, Becky Sexton, owns Twin Lakes Environmental Services, the company that developed the Supreme Beef nutrient management plan.

The Supreme Beef plan was challenged in court as insufficient, and a judge issued an injunction against manure application until the plan was approved by the DNR. Special interests shouldn’t call the shots in making laws affecting the entire state.

Have your voices heard, Iowans – at a time when our water quality is already declining, we must not make it easier for our waterways to be polluted by providing loopholes like this to the industrial livestock industry.

Find your legislator here and write them an email using our talking points to let them know why you oppose this language.