- Senator David Johnson
- Burlin Matthews
- Megan JonesState Representative
- Erin Brockovich
- Steve KingRepresentative
- Kimberly ReynoldsGovernor
- EPC- Environmental Protection Committee
- Iowa Citizens for Community Involvement
- SRAP- Socially Responsible Agriculture Project
- T. McK
- Storm Lake Times
IA! ALL County Boards of Supervisors- Join 17+ Co.- Safety/ Env Regulations--Master Matrix
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Iowa! Ask ALL of Our County Boards of Supervisors- Join 17+ Co. signing on & requesting the Environmental Protection Committee to Review the Master Matrix. Increased Public Safety/ Environmental Regulations NEEDED to Protect Our Families- Master Matrix Review & Change IS A MUST!
We encourage our Supervisors to make us locally in Clay County- and pertains to ALL counties intrested in reform so sign for yours- the 18th (and counting) Iowa county to call for a moratorium and changes to the Master Matrix until adequate regulations are implemented to protect our environment and families. Tell your local County Supervisors the same!
Sen. Johnson, CAFO discussion, return to supervisors meeting
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 By Joseph Hopper, Daily Reporter Staff
The Clay County Supervisors were joined by State Sen. David Johnson, I-Ocheyedan, Clay County residents, agricultural industry members, area farmers as well as concerned citizens from Clay, Palo Alto and Dickinson counties Tuesday during an agenda item concerning concentrated animal feeding operations and how they are currently regulated through the Department of Natural Resource's “master matrix” siting formula.
Sarah Lewis, who was a potential neighbor of a planned confinement unit before the plans were canceled, was the scheduled speaker for the agenda item and voiced her concerns regarding the current state of confinement units and called for a moratorium to be created by the board of supervisors regarding them until changes to the master matrix could occur.
“Today we’re here to ask for — or request rather, that Clay County sign on as the next county for the petition to have the master matrix reviewed and regulations being made to keep the safety of our county and our people and the environment healthy for generations to come,” Lewis said. “(Counties) either pass a resolution asking for suspension and changes, or they’ll pass a resolution asking for changes to the matrix, or they’ll send letters to the DNR and legislators calling for better environmental regulations and a local control in moratorium, and that’s what I’m here today to do. We just want to have them put to a halt until they can make them better. There’s so much pollution that occurs, and sickness and everything else that it’s just it needs to really have a big look at it.”
“Nobody wants to deal with this. It’s big money, a lot of power, and I found it’s really political. I find it environmental, but everything’s tied to money. It’s a toughie — you know? Gaining awareness, and we’re not against farmers at all.
“I really hope our county board here takes it upon themselves to what I feel is right and best for everybody, for the water, the air and soil — people now, and in 100 years.”
Joan Olive, of Spirit Lake, spoke next, sharing her personal story about her experience related to CAFOs.
“I’m going to tell you why I don’t live in Clay County anymore. Dec. 27, 2004, I was on my parent’s farm where I had planned to live and taken my life savings, and put the infrastructure in, bought a nice trailer, fixed it all up and moved it onto my parent’s farm — that I was going to inherit and live out the rest of my life on,” Olive said. “A few days after Christmas, it was kind of a bare winter and warm. A mile and a half away, liquid manure from the factory farm was being applied to the farmland there. I got incredibly sick from the drift. Hydrogen sulfide. And I recovered from it, but I have some chronic and severe neurological problems and my immune system has been horribly destroyed.”
“I ended up having to move and leave the state because I get sick from everything. ... I moved to South Dakota because I had this health problem that started — that — night, and ... it’s a long story but it is verifiable. I was a school speech language pathologist and it severely impacted my career. I ended up moving back to Iowa and moved to Dickinson County in Spirit Lake because there’s not as much farming and there’s not as many hog confinements. But guess what? They’re coming in there too, now. ... I see neighbors being impacted by the manure management plans, by the millions of chickens in confinements, by the thousands of hogs. ... The damage that the air pollution and the water pollution and the damage to human health, the documentation that supports that from CAFOs wouldn’t fit in a wheelbarrow and I think we all know that.
“The most worrisome, what affected my life — hydrogen sulfide — it’s associated with manure management areas when they spray it, and it gets warm, it just keeps out gassing. It’s a neurotoxin, it’s poison, it kills a few people every year. Children and elderly are most affected.”
Burlin Matthews, Clay County Board of Supervisors chairman, shared that the two state-level legislative committees that he served on featured master matrix review in their legislative packages.
“I sit on two legislative policy committees at the state level. The Iowa State Association of County Supervisors, and the Iowa State Association of Counties. Each of those two organizations for this next year, they have as part of their legislative package, to either as an objective or a policy, that the Iowa Legislature review the master matrix. That’s true of all county supervisors across the state and all affiliated organizations as county employees. So that’s on the agenda for this next year in support of a review of the master matrix,” Matthews said.
Johnson then spoke out to Matthews.
“Why then, if I can ask, are counties continuing to pass resolutions or write letters? ... If you think that this is, that nothing else is required of the counties, then why? I’ve got Mitchell County, Worth County, they’re still continuing to do this because ... they’re absolutely right, there’s a huge explosion of building going on right now,” Johnson said.
“Because it’s in your hands. It’s not in our hands — it’s in your hands senator. And you folks have to do something,” Matthews said.
“Here’s what the majority leader of the senate just posted on his email last Friday, and he’s a Republican. ‘Our agenda has been and will continue to be, to reduce the size and cost of government, while empowering local officials to make the best choices for their communities.’ Is that not local control?” Johnson asked.
“Until preemption comes along,” Matthews said.
“We’ve got to face the facts here. If this is all part of your legislative package, it’s been part of it before. We know who’s in charge down in Des Moines, follow the money,” Johnson said.
Olive then spoke to the board, appealing to the supervisors to make a motion for a resolution on the matter.
“What would be the harm of writing a letter or a resolution to show that you care about — these are multigenerational farm families that are having their quality of life and their health affected,” Olive said.
“The interesting side of it, is that there’s a flip side of this too. That’s the multigenerational farms that raise hogs and feed hogs out because it’s a way they support their families. So we sit on two sides of this, those people that have those, and those people that don’t. And obviously the most vocal people are the ones that are in opposition, and they would then impact those farm families that are using these as a method of their support, financial support,” Matthews said.
“I live on a farm, and I’m a hog producer. I have 4,400 head of pigs so I guess you would call me a CAFO. But, I also make my living on that farm and I live right there. We as a county, do the best we can, and we follow the matrix that legislation has set up a while ago. ... Now, at that point when that was set up I’m sure there were several big groups that were not in favor of that. But they weren’t saying ‘we would love to be regulated more, regulate us as much as you can.’ So it’s just like now,” Clay County Supervisor Barry Anderson said. “They’re still fighting that, but that’s a different platform that’s gonna have to be addressed at that level. Am I willing to say, ‘put a moratorium on business in my county?’ No, I’m not. I don’t want to take the power out of my hands or this person’s hands. If they feel that they want to look into a business on their ground, as long as they’re following state regulations that were setup at that time, then until those things are changed and addressed, that’s where I sit, it’s going to stay until that’s changed.”
The planned 15-minute agenda item ended up running over 30 minutes in length before discussion had to be ended, allowing the supervisors to address the rest of their agenda items for the session. No motions were made during the agenda item, however any further discussion or potential action would occur at a future Clay County Board of Supervisors meeting.
*Attn *Attn *Attn
COMMUNITY ACTION ITEM ON OCTOBER 10TH:
Message received from Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
There is an important Clay County Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled on Tuesday, October 10.
Thanks to organized community pressure, Iowa Select recently withdrew its application to build a 5,000-head hog factory in Clay County. This victory was achieved by the hard work of community activists and citizens speaking out.
Now, community members are building on this momentum and asking their county supervisors to pass a resolution that calls for a moratorium and more protections from factory farms.
Resolutions are symbolic – they’re strong statements of what a county believes or wants – but they are important because they allow supervisors to use their voice and influence statehouse leaders. Right now, 1 in 5 Iowa counties have called on the DNR, the legislature, and the governor for more protections from the factory farm industry in Iowa. We want Clay County to be added to this growing list and become the next county calling for change!
Please attend the supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday, October 10 and encourage them to pass this resolution!
Details to know:
When: October 10, 2017 @ 11 AM (see on the agenda below)
Where: Board Room, 300 West 4th Street, Spencer, IA
Message to the Supervisors: " I’m asking you to join other counties in calling for more protections from factory farms. As our elected leaders, we’re trusting that you will use your voice and all the tools at your disposal to make sure residents in Clay County have clean air and clean water. The factory farm industry has gotten out of control, and northwest Iowa is already very saturated with factory farms. We can’t handle anymore. We need a moratorium and more protections from factory farms. Please pass this resolution today".
If you can’t make it: Can you give your supervisors a call? Leave a message that you want Clay County to become the next county calling for more protections from the factory farm industry. (712) 262-1569
ATTN-- SEP 27, 2017 — We are happy to announce Iowa Select/ Bluejay Farms WILL NOT BE PROCEEDING with the Rossie Finishing Facility in Lincoln Twnshp!!! Very great news!! TOGETHER we STOPPED this ONE BUT it's NOT OVER. --> PLEASE JOIN US on Tues, Oct 10- 11am! Clay Co Admin Bldg, 300 W. 4th St, Ste #4 Board of Supervisors, Spencer! <--We DO NEED PEOPLE to attend to ask that Clay County be the 18th/19th county to sign onto a request to the legislature for a moratorium on new factory farms/CAFOs until adequate regulations are developed to protect Iowa's families or until Iowa's 750 impaired water bodies are reduced to 100 or less. Families near proposed now withdrawn Rossie Finishing Facility may have dodged a bullet, but the rest of rural Clay county is still in the cross-hairs for getting 5,000-8,000 hogs 1/4 mile from their own home or small town. More going up as we speak! #FactoryFarmsAreNotRegularFarms
Original petition (not the current issue here) for Lincoln Township for details leading to this petition. https://www.change.org/p/legis-clay-co-ia-dnr-iowa-select-farms-petition-opposing-stopping-iowa-select-similar-factory-farm-hog-confinements-in-clay-co-ia-join-matrix-moratorium-stop-prevent-another-land-sale-by-swansons-to-iowa-select-farms-clayconoiowaselect/u/21500167
--Below is ICCI's press release, whom we have been working with. The birds were known by Iowa Select prior to 8/29 mtg so we don't think that was the decider. Maybe 800+ signatures (THANKS!) & MUCH RESISTANCE & COMMUNITY AWARENESS (THANKS!) did though!!
From ICCI- Iowa Select withdraws two factory farm applications ahead of environmental hearings
Iowa CCI members, residents in Clay and Wayne counties celebrate and demand moratorium on new factories
Des Moines, Iowa – On Monday, Iowa CCI members and everyday Iowans celebrated as Iowa Select — the largest hog corporation in Iowa and 8th largest nationally — withdrew permit applications for two massive hog factories in Wayne and Clay counties. Both applications, which were overwhelmingly opposed by local residents and county supervisors, were likely to be appealed at the October meeting of the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC).
Locally organized opposition
Residents of Wayne County organized opposition, including a meeting with DNR director Chuck Gipp where over 100 neighbors demanded DNR deny the site, wrote letters to the editor, and successfully convinced their county supervisors to fail the Master Matrix and recommend denial to the DNR. The DNR overturned the Wayne County Supervisors’ decision. Wayne County appealed DNR’s approval of the factory farm, and a public hearing before the EPC was scheduled in October.
“We’re celebrating this big victory, but we know that Iowa Select will try to reapply. We are relentless, and we’ll be ready. We don’t want any factory farms and we will fight any that Iowa Select proposes to build,” said Pam Woollis, CCI member and resident of Wayne County.
In Clay County, local residents also organized, gathered petition signatures, and convinced their supervisors to recommend denial of the site, which again was overturned by the DNR. Clay County’s Board of Supervisors was set to vote on appealing DNR’s approval of the factory farm at its meeting today.
“We are overjoyed at Iowa Select’s decision to not build their large hog factory beside our family. However, more importantly, the health of other farm familes and small towns is endangered by Iowa’s lack of regulations to protect the public health and our air and water,” said Sarah Lewis, who fought the 5,000-head factory farm near Spencer, Iowa. “We encourage our Supervisors to make Clay County the 18th Iowa county to call for a moratorium and changes to the Master Matrix until adequate regulations are implemented to protect our environment and families.”
Iowa Select avoids scrutiny
“In its written notice to the Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Select cited several reasons for withdrawing, but we believe it’s because they are feeling public pressure and know that these appeals would further illustrate the failings of the Master Matrix,” said Erica Blair, community organizer with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI).
According to DNR’s construction review activity database, Iowa Select has seven pending facilities across the state in Grundy, Hancock, Hardin, Humboldt, Buena Vista, and Greene counties. CCI has received calls from residents of several of these counties asking how they can fight the incoming factory farms.
Iowa Select has a long violation history, including at least 150 manure or ammonia releases polluting air and water, according to DNR’s facility spill database.
“Iowa Select creates new LLCs, allowing the company to avoid scrutiny of past violations, making it difficult to know the true number of spills and violations,” said Patti Naylor, a CCI member and family farmer who lives in Greene County, where supervisors just approved a 7,490-head Iowa Select factory farm. “They’ve become experts at using the Master Matrix to their own advantage.”
This news comes as many scandals are coming to the surface for DNR. CCI members point to the EPC and DNR’s dismissal of the Master Matrix petition, former DNR employee Gene Tinker’s claim that he was fired for educating counties about the Master Matrix, and DNR’s discovery of over 5,000 additional factory farms in Iowa.
“It’s clear that we need a moratorium from this polluting industry. Our DNR, legislature, and Governor need to work for all of Iowans,” added Naylor.
About Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement- a statewide, grassroots people’s action group that uses community organizing to win public policy that puts communities before corporations and people before profits, politics and polluters. CCI has been fighting to put people first for over 40 years.
About Clay County IA Residents, Friends & Neighbors Community Action Society- Community awareness & support with a strong stance for the good of the people on issues needing addressed pertaining to our health, environment, and quality of life for now & generations. Join us! Clay County, Iowa, area & beyond.
Our first action & achievement incl Iowa Select withdrawal of #cafo factory farm hog facility permit for Lincoln Township 9.25.2017. Our page- https://www.facebook.com/Clay-Co-IA-Residents-Friends-Neighbors-Community-Action-Society-1934893936769395/
Our first & continuing page & cause- https://www.facebook.com/ClayCoIASaysNoIowaSelectNoMoreFactoryFarmsPeriod/
- Senator David Johnson
- Burlin Matthews
- State Representative
Iowa! Request ALL of our local County Boards of Supervisors to join petition (17+) for master matrix review & more regulations to protect Iowans' safety, environment & quality of Life..
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Clay County IA Residents, Friends & Neighbors Community Action Society needs your help with “IA! ALL County Boards of Supervisors- Join 17+ Co.- Increased Public Safety/ Environmental Regulations to Protect Our Families- Master Matrix Review & Change IS NEEDED! We encourage Supervisors to make Clay Co & ALL Iowa county to call for a m”. Join Clay County IA Residents, Friends & Neighbors Community Action Society and 41 supporters today.