We filed for stronger factory farm rules!
July 19, 2017. Yesterday, we went on offense for clean water. Iowa CCI and Food & Water Watch filed a petition with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to strengthen rules on factory farms!
The Master Matrix – a tool used to evaluate applications for new factory farms – was created by the legislature in 2002 with the promise of giving communities a greater voice in factory farm construction and more protections from factory farm pollution. But, in its fifteen years of existence, that hasn’t happened.
Instead of working for everyday people, the Master Matrix only works for the industry.
We all know it: Iowa is in a water crisis. But, year after year, the legislature has failed to act. Iowans can’t wait any longer.
That’s why on Tuesday, we teamed up with our allies at Food & Water Watch to file a formal rulemaking petition with the DNR to finally strengthen the Master Matrix. We know it’s no substitute for local control or a moratorium, but the Master Matrix is one tool DNR can strengthen right now outside of the legislature to enact meaningful changes that will protect our communities and environment from factory farm pollution.
The DNR has 60 days to respond to our petition. During that time, we want to collect as many comments in support of this petition as possible.
The petition asks for:
- A higher minimum passing score, requiring applicants to earn more points to obtain a permit;
- A one-time enrollment for counties, rather than the current burdensome requirement for counties to readopt the Master Matrix every single year;
- Revisions to the point structure to incentivize practices that prevent or mitigate pollution;
- New criteria that consider more environmental factors, such as unique topography and existing water pollution impairments;
- Elimination of criteria that do not provide meaningful environmental or community benefits; and
- Increased separation distances from things like schools, homes, public use areas, wells, etc.
This is just one step in our clean water fight. We’ll keep pushing for mandatory – not voluntary – water protections, and a budget where Big Ag – not taxpayers – pays to clean up its pollution.
Together, we can make the changes we need for clean water and healthy communities!