Iowa Sierra Club calls for hog confinement moratorium
After a new federal report found Iowa has 5,000 previously unreported livestock operations, the Iowa Chapter of the nonprofit national environmental group Sierra Club called for a moratorium on new hog confinements.
The proposed moratorium on new or expanded confinements would stay in place until:
· The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has enough staff to perform annual inspections at all confinements and fields where manure is applied.
· Water bodies near manure application areas are tested several times a year.
· Water quality problems due to fertilizer runoff are addressed.
· Air quality surrounding the confined animal feeding operations and manure application fields is adequately monitored and regulated.
· Permits are required for all confinements, not just larger ones.
· Regulations and enforcement are strong enough to deter violations.
· Federal and state laws are strengthened to control pollution from confinements.
The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission recently declined to revise a state scoring system that guides but doesn’t decide where confinements are located. The Iowa Legislature has declined for years to consider a moratorium on confinements or legislation to strengthen local control of the operations, which have brought complaints of odors, fish kills and health threats from toxic air pollution.