Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2017

Support CAFO moratorium until water problems fixed

By David Ballou | Apr 20, 2017

To Jefferson County Supervisors:

At a Fairfield Library Saturday morning meeting a few weeks ago, Iowa state legislators aired the following concerns regarding Iowa CAFO law:

• The Master Matrix needs revision;

• Loopholes in the law need to be plugged that permit juxtaposition of two CAFOs that contain just under the required minimum number of hogs or that are registered under two different LLCs;

• The law needs to specify – as Canadian law does, Rich Taylor mentioned – limits on where, how much and how often effluence from CAFOs may be spread;

It was clear that the exploding CAFO numbers and the attendant pollution concern many of us deeply. The issue is noticeable daily.

During the fall, my wife and I avoid dinner at Cafe Dodici in Washington because of the stench and difficulty breathing in Washington square at that time of year.

The hog-to-people ratio in Iowa is now about 7-to-1. CAFOs are turning our state's water, air and soil into a cesspool, a sewer that threatens our health and that is raising health costs. Already, smart people are leaving Iowa because of it. Losing citizens, we lose tax base.

This is primarily the fault of the Iowa legislature, whose intent seems more driven by Big Agriculture financial support than by the best interests of Iowa voters.

However, at the local level, a county – through their supervisors – can help.

In September 2016, the Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture (IARA), a coalition of 25 national, state, and community organizations in Iowa, launched a campaign calling for a factory farm moratorium on new and expanding CAFOs until there are fewer than 100 water impairments in Iowa.

Nine Iowa counties – Adair, Johnson, Webster, Pocahontas, Dickinson, Allamakee, Winneshiek, Cedar, and Buchanan – have all passed CAFO moratoriums in support of IARA's campaign until Iowa's factory farm problems are fixed.

Jefferson County Supervisors, I implore you to do the same.

Supporting agriculture is important, but not at the expense of taxpayers' health and right to a healthy environment.


– David Ballou, Fairfield

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