AP NEWS

Another county wants moratorium on livestock feeding farms

May 22, 2019

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors added its voice to those calling for a moratorium on new livestock feeding operations.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday for a resolution that asks Gov. Kim Reynolds and state legislators to bar construction of new concentrated animal feeding operations until Iowa’s water quality improves. The resolution wants no permits issued by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources until the state’s number of impaired waterways has dropped to fewer than 100 from about 750.

“I think it’s really a crisis situation,” said Supervisor Chris Schwartz. “If we’re going to get ahead of it we need to put the brakes on now until we’ve got better things in place.”

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported that supervisors in 25 more of the state’s 99 counties have passed similar measures.

“It’s not the family farms that we all know and love,” Schwartz said. “It’s these big, kind of corporate operations putting thousands and thousands of animals in small spaces.”

Groups such as the Sierra Club and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement have said the operations are detrimental to human health and that failed manure management plans harm the state’s streams, rivers and lakes. Environmental groups have said the spills and animal manure used as fertilizer drain down creeks and other tributaries into the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and contribute to the growth of a “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, a zone where oxygen levels are so low that marine life can no longer survive.

State Sen. Eric Giddens, who works as program manager for the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education, on Tuesday spoke in favor of the moratorium and read from a January 2018 Iowa Policy Project report that said Iowa has four times more of the big feeding operations than it had in 2001.

___

Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.