We can’t wait any longer

Iowa has more than 10,000 factory farms — more than any other state. These facilities come under fire from animal rights groups, environmentalists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are breeding grounds for diseases and generate 22 billion gallons of manure annually, which contaminates our rivers, streams and wells with E. coli bacteria. Today, Iowa has a record-breaking 750 polluted waterbodies. The burden of ciean-up falls upon everyday lowans.

The Master Matrix is a tool in the permitting process that is supposed to protect communities and the environment from factory farm pollution. But, it has failed to live up to those promises. The Department of Natural Resources has denied only 2 percent of applications, in spite of objections from citizens. The result is that Iowa has more factory farms and more pollution than ever.

We need to strengthen the permitting process for factory farms. The DNR needs to take up a petition filed last month by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Food & Water Watch to strengthen the Master Matrix. This is something DNR needs to do right now because our legislature has failed to address the problem, lowans can’t wait any longer!