BREAKING: Letter from Branstad’s office proves he’s intervening to stop Clean Water Act enforcement

For months, the Iowa DNR has stalled on signing a work plan agreement with EPA to begin cracking down on factory farm pollution and come into compliance with the federal Clean Water Act – and now we know why.

We now have in our possession an intercepted from the governor’s office dated May 20, 2013 signed by Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. The letter proves the governor is personally intervening in an attempt to undermine strong and effective public oversight over one of Iowa’s most polluting industries.

You can click here to take action and send a pen to “encourage” Governor Branstad and DNR Director Chuck Gipp to sign the workplan to bring Iowa into compliance with the Clean Water Act.

These letters are a big deal for several reasons:

  • The letter proves Branstad’s direct involvement in a high-stakes negotiation between the Iowa DNR and the federal EPA and shows that he is roadblocking the DNR from signing the EPA’s workplan.
  • The letter clearly demonstrates that Branstad is doing the bidding of the corporate ag industry. He’s intervened using their talking points, presumably because he feels their interests are being threatened.
  • The letter shows Branstad cares more about corporate ag profits than he does about ensuring access to safe and affordable drinking water for all Iowans.  He fails to mention water quality or the impact pollution has on Iowa communities in the letter.
  • The letter specifically states Branstad opposes DNR inspections for factory farms large enough to require a manure management plan.
  • The letter specifically states Branstad opposes EPA oversight over new DNR procedures and training to make sure they are doing their job correctly.
  • The letter demands EPA meet with heads of industry here in Iowa and the governor volunteers his office to set those meetings up on behalf of corporate leaders and the federal government, and it was carbon-copied to Iowa’s entire congressional delegation, which is another way Branstad is demonstrating how seriously he takes this issue and the lengths he’s willing to go to stop common-sense reform.
  • The letter was sent directly to President Obama’s EPA nominee, Gina McCarthy, which can be interpreted as a bullying tactic to influence incoming EPA leadership.


Click here to read a press release detailing Governor Branstad’s letter.

You can view Governor Branstad’s letters here, here, here, here, and here.


Click here to send a pen to “encourage” Branstad and Gipp to sign the workplan. We’ll make sure it gets delivered!

Join the Fight!

Help make the message clear – Governor Branstad and Iowa DNR Director Gipp must sign a workplan to bring Iowa into compliance with the federal Clean Water Act.

To send your message right to the source, click here. We’ll send Director Gipp and Governor Branstad a pen and ask them to sign the workplan in your honor.

2013 is shaping up to be another record-breaking year in the fightback against factory farming and for clean water. Already, we’ve seen the corporate ag industry push bad bills at the statehouse, setting our state up for another influx of corporate hog manure. We need your help in fighting back, and here are five easy ways you can join the fight:

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