The Iowa House passed the "no manure on frozen and snow-covered ground" bill (SF 432) with strong amendments on Friday -- this happened thanks to your persistent pressure and that of other environmental groups from all across the state.
House members received thousands of messages from Iowans concerned about water quality and strong input from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which forced them to review the original proposed bill to expand the scope of regulation and close major loopholes.
This bill will ban the application of factory farm liquid manure on snow-covered ground during the winter months and part of spring (from Dec. 21 through April 1) and application on frozen ground between Feb. 1 and April 1.
We have been calling for tough regulation of manure application on frozen and snow-covered ground for a long time. The legislature picked up this issue because of our original pressure on the Environmental Protection Commission and Department of Natural Resources to construct a strong rule, and we weren't about to let a bill to pass that would continue to allow factory farms to pollute our waterways with this practice.
While amendments to SF 432 made the bill significantly stronger, we still have a long way to go. This regulation of factory farm manure application is a step in the right direction to protect our water quality, but Iowa must continue to stand up against corporate pressure and put people's health and our environment before polluters.
In the past few years, Iowa has nearly doubled the number of waterways on the impaired waterways list and a recent report from the United States Geological Survey pointed to Iowa as one of the leading contributors to the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. In these urgent times, we need to continue to call on decision makers to put people first.
Hats off to the organizers that made this change possible.