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Letter: DNR, EPC is failing Iowans

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DNR stands for the Department of Natural Resources. EPC stands for Environmental Protection Commission. Iowa stands for "I Owe the World an Apology," for all the animal confinements that are destroying our rivers and lakes.

When government works the best, it works for the people, not the corporations. The EPC’s job is to protect the land and our environment, not promote corporate ag, Farm Bureau, and the commodity groups. With a weak Master Matrix and DNR’s ability to override county supervisors’ "no" votes, how do we stop the rise of more CAFOs in our county? Why won't the DNR and EPC protect rural citizens from this overproduction of filth and destruction? I ask them: How can you stand up with no backbone? How can you look at yourself in a mirror?

The number of impaired waterbodies in this state is rising, and yet you seem to do nothing to help stop this. The call seems to be that the only way to get young people into farming is by saddling them with large debt to build a hog CAFOs. Not only will this put a strain on the environment, clean air and water, but put this young person in debt with a slim possibility to come out ahead.

In my hometown, Worth County, the Master Matrix has failed to protect us. Just this year we’ve seen five, and more to come of new factory farms. Many of them are exploiting a loophole to avoid the Master Matrix all together. Shame on you for denying our petition. You let down my neighbors, my county, and the whole state.

DNR and EPC lack the political will to make even modest improvements to the Master Matrix, so now our demand is this: local control and a moratorium on factory farms! Enough is enough. Iowa was once known as the land between two rivers. Now it's the sewage pit between two rivers.

My final comment to the EPC is this: if you are not going to do your job and protect Iowa’s environment, resign and let people who believe in the beauty of this state fill your position, and serve the people of this state, not corporate ag that is destroying it. Our movement is growing, and we will not stop until Iowa has clean air and water!

James Berge, Kensett


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