April 6, 2017

Iowa CCI members across the state have come together for five community meetings to discuss ways to strengthen the Master Matrix – one of the few tools counties and citizens have to weigh in on factory farm construction. Due to member interest, an additional two community meetings have been scheduled in Ottumwa and Davenport to gather input.

So far, everyday Iowans have identified several key items to address within the Master Matrix, including:

  • greater separation distances,
  • stronger environmental regulations,
  • revisions to the point structure, and
  • requiring all facilities – not just some – to use the Master Matrix.

Illustrating the failings of the Master Matrix, factory farm operators are allowed to skirt permit thresholds in order to avoid additional scrutiny. Last month in Cerro Gordo County, the DNR approved Wharam Creek Poultry’s 98,000 head chicken confinement – just shy of the permit threshold that requires using the Master Matrix. Following approval of the new Simply Essentials chicken processing plant in Charles City, the area has seen nine other chicken factory farm applications that are also just below the permit threshold.

Iowa CCI is looking for more input on the Master Matrix. This will be used to pressure the Department of Natural Resources to make significant and meaningful changes to the Master Matrix, in light of inaction from Iowa’s legislature.

 

Find a community meeting new you!

Saturday, April 8 at 9:30 to 11:00 AM
Le Mars Public Library
46 1st St SW, Le Mars, IA
RSVP here.

Thursday, April 20 at 6:30 to 8:00 PM (NEW)
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities
3707 Eastern Ave, Davenport, IA
RSVP here.

Thursday, May 4 at 6:30 to 8:00 PM (NEW)
St. Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church
216 N Court St, Ottumwa, IA
RSVP here.

 

Join the Fight!

  • Ready to take action? Contact us to learn how to get actively involved in this fight.
  • Join as an Iowa CCI member
  • Sign up for our email Action List
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement has scheduled a tour of community meetings across the state to gather input from Iowans on how to strengthen the Master Matrix. The first stop on the tour was in Charles City on March 2. Twenty community members from Floyd, Cerro Gordo, Mitchell, and Howard counties attended the meeting to brainstorm how the Master Matrix could better protect their communities and environment from factory farm pollution.

The Master Matrix is one of the few tools counties and citizens have to weigh in on factory farm construction. However, it is far from perfect and doesn’t go far enough in protecting Iowans or the environment from factory farm pollution. Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to learn more and discuss the Master Matrix, as well as provide input on how it should change.

Counties across the state are beginning to take a stand on factory farms. In January, Allamakee and Winneshiek counties passed resolutions calling for a suspension on factory farm construction until the Legislature fixed the Master Matrix. Floyd County passed a similar resolution that called for changes to the Master Matrix. In late 2016, Webster and Pocahontas counties wrote letters to legislators and the Iowa DNR calling for a moratorium and more local control. This shows growing momentum for local control and a moratorium on new and expanding factory farms in Iowa.

Questions? Contact Erica at EricaB@iowacci.org. And check out our calendar to RSVP to these upcoming meetings!

Master Matrix Community Meetings Tour

Wednesday, March 15 at 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Hotel Greenfield
110 E Iowa St, Greenfield, IA
RSVP

Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Lohrville Public Library
609 2nd Ave, Lohrville, IA
RSVP

Thursday, March 30 at 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Ames Public Library, PEO Room
515 Douglas Ave, Ames, IA
RSVP

Tuesday, April 4 at 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Solon Public Library
320 W Main St, Solon, IA
RSVP

Saturday, April 8 at 9:30 to 11:00 AM
Le Mars Public Library
46 1st St SW, Le Mars, IA
RSVP

Join the Fight!

  • Ready to take action? Contact us to learn how to get actively involved in this fight.
  • Join as an Iowa CCI member
  • Sign up for our email Action List
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

This morning, the Floyd County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution that petitions the Governor and Iowa Legislature to fix the failings of the Master Matrix. Mark Kuhn, a former Iowa state representative who helped develop the Master Matrix, introduced the resolution.

“The Master Matrix is a joke,” said Marilyn Jorgensen of Rudd and an Iowa CCI member. “It has done nothing to really protect the environment or the community. It’s just smoke and mirrors to make it look like the industry is doing its job. In reality, factory farms are running roughshod over our neighbors, our water, and our air.”

This makes Floyd the third county in Iowa to pass such a resolution. Allamakee and Winneshiek counties also passed similar resolutions recently calling for not only changes to the Master Matrix, but also a suspension on factory farm construction. Late last year, both Webster and Pocahontas counties wrote letters to legislators and the DNR calling for a moratorium on factory farms and changes to the Master Matrix. In addition, Johnson County wrote a letter to legislators and the DNR calling for more local control.

“This industry is out of control, and people across the state are fed up,” said Erica Blair, an organizer for Iowa CCI. “Changing the Master Matrix is a good step toward cleaning up Iowa’s water, but that alone won’t get us there. We need mandatory, not voluntary, regulations. And Big Ag, not taxpayers, should pay to clean up their own mess.”

At the end of this month, Iowa CCI will begin a series of community meetings across the state to hear what changes Iowans want to be made to the Master Matrix.

Join the Fight!

  • Ready to take action? Contact us to learn how to get actively involved in this fight. !Hablamos español!
  • Join as an Iowa CCI member
  • Sign up for our email Action List
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Iowa CCI members across the state mobilized at the county level to get the job done!

Eighty-eight Iowa counties voted to implement the master matrix scoring system for factory farm zoning in 2013. 

CCI members across the state contacted their county board of supervisors and asked that they pass the master matrix because it is one of the few tools citizens in local communities have to oppose factory farm construction in their neighborhood that could negatively impact their air, water, property values, and quality of life.

“The success of getting 8 out of 9 counties to pass the master matrix this year shows that Iowans want more local control over factory farms. We want a say in what happens in our communities.” Said Barb Kalbach, a CCI member and fourth-generation family farmer from Dexter. “We can do one better and actually pass a local control bill this session.”

Representative Curt Hanson (D-Fairfield) will be introducing a bill for local control during the 2013 legislative session.  Local control will not change statewide zoning laws, but will give counties “veto power” – a final say in whether or not a factory farm can build in their county.

According to current law, Iowa counties must pass the master matrix every year by January 31 to be able to use it. 

The counties that did not pass the master matrix are Osceola, Plymouth, Iowa, Warren, Mahaska, Keokuk, Washington, Wapello, Des Moines, Lee and Decatur.

Iowa has more than 8,000 factory farms, 800 manure spills since 1995, and 628 polluted waterways, according to Department of Natural Resources’ records.

Update: The deadline is up and 88 counties passed the Master Matrix in 2013!! To view the final report click here.

One of the tools that communities have in the fight against unwanted factory farms is the master matrix, a scoring system for proposed sites that the builder must pass. The master matrix is a flawed tool, but it provides communities a minimal level of protection against factory farms being built left and right.

However, each county Board of Supervisors must accept the master matrix for the coming year by the end of each January. So far, 83 counties have accepted the master matrix. Below, you can find all these counties shaded in yellow.

The counties which have not accepted the master matrix are:

  • Butler
  • Crawford
  • Decatur
  • Des Moines
  • Fremont
  • Iowa
  • Keokuk
  • Lee
  • Mahaska
  • Mills
  • Mitchell
  • Osceola
  • Plymouth
  • Wapello
  • Warren
  • Washington
If you live in any of the counties listed above and you care about protecting your air, water, and quality of life, call CCI at (515) 282-0484 to find out how you can get your supervisors to pass the matrix today.

Join the Fight

Factory farm proposing to build near you? Have concerns about an existing facility?
We can work with you and your community to fight back and stand up for clean air, clean water, and your quality of life.

 Click LIKE or TWEET to spread the word about this time-sensitive issue!

Did your county pass it?

 

A record number of Iowa counties have again adopted the Master Matrix scoring system this year to give counties the right to appeal a factory farm permit issued by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).   Eighty eight counties passed it in 2012, up from 79 counties in 2010.  Thanks to all CCI members who contacted their county officials on this important clean water issue!

The Master Matrix is the only form of local control citizens have to stop factory farm construction permits. We need all 99 counties on board!

Click here to see the DNR’s map of counties. If your county is on the list below, they did not pass the Master Matrix for 2012 – urge them to pass it next year.

  • Decatur
  • Iowa
  • Jasper
  • Keokuk
  • Lee
  • Mahaska
  • Osceola
  • Plymouth
  • Wapello
  • Warren
  • Washington

 

The construction evaluation resolution—also known as the Master Matrix—is the only tool available to citizens to stop proposed factory farm construction sites. Meaning if your county doesn’t pass it, you and your neighbors might be S.O.L (manure.outof.luck) when it comes time to fight a factory farm in your area.

Every year, each county’s board of supervisors must vote to readopt the resolution and mail it in to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources before Jan. 31. We firmly believe that all counties should have local control over factory farm siting.