DNR’s proposed rules for feedlots do not protect groundwater and drinking water sources from pollution, especially in karst terrain. Submit your comments now telling DNR to strengthen the rules.
Last year, IEC petitioned for new rules to protect sensitive Iowa waters from feedlot pollution. We requested that the Environmental Protection Commission adopt rules to require water pollution monitoring systems, consideration of environmental factors before approval, and separation distance from karst terrain for new feedlots. Now, DNR is proposing changes to the rules – but not fulfilling what IEC requested.
Karst terrain is one of the most pollution-sensitive natural features in Iowa, because porous bedrock leads to many surface water and groundwater connections. Manure containing bacteria, nitrate, and phosphorus is more likely to pollute water in karst topography than in other places. As a result, there are serious environmental and public health risks to building animal feeding operations on karst terrain.
To protect Iowa’s drinking water, Outstanding Iowa Waters, and other waters of the state, the Commission must adopt rules requiring water pollution monitoring systems at feedlots, consideration of environmental factors before approving feedlots, and greater separation from karst terrain for new construction.
We also need to reduce over-application of manure. The proposed rules do not change the current approach, which results in pollution of Iowa’s groundwater and surface water with nitrate and phosphorus. We need manure management plans that reflect current science and only apply the nutrients a crop can actually use.
Please use the email form at right to submit your comments to the DNR by Friday, October 21.
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