116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The Iowa Environmental Council wants to force the state's Environmental Protection Commission to adopt flood plain maps to comply with a law that says animal-feeding operations can’t be built near waterways.
“The EPC has had a statutory directive since 2002 to adopt a flood plain map … . It has not done so,” states the petition for rule making filed Wednesday.
“The EPC should adopt a map now to fulfill its legal duty. Adopting a map now is appropriate because a map is available and flooding concerns will worsen with climate change.”
Allowing animal-feeding operations to be built in flood plains raises the risk of manure leaking from retention basins into nearby rivers and streams, the organization says.
Iowa has more than 12,700 animal-feeding operations and more than 3,300 open feedlots, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’s animal-feeding operation database.
The DNR, charged with regulating medium and large animal-feeding operations, has been using flood plain maps created by Iowa Flood Center to determine where animal-feeding operations cannot be built. But the DNR hasn’t adopted the maps as a rule, the petition states.
There also have been at least seven times since 2003 the DNR has issued permits for CAFOs to be built in the flood plain, the Environmental Council reported.
The Environmental Protection Commission is a nine-member, governor-appointed group that provides policy oversight of environmental decisions.
The Iowa Environmental Council has asked to meet with DNR staff about the petition. State rules say the EPC must respond within 60 days, but the council has given the agency up to six months.
Comments: (319) 339-3157; email@example.com