Date: 5/8/2014 12:00:00 AM

Title: Cattle producers encouraged to comment on facility rules

  • AMES, IOWA – The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association is asking cattle producers to make comments on proposed administrative rules for Iowa livestock facilities. The proposed rules are a result of a months-long negotiation between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    “We watched those negotiations closely, and believe the work plan agreement is one cattle producers can work with,” says ICA Chief Executive Officer Matt Deppe.  

    The proposed rules have been presented to Iowa’s Environmental Protection Commission, and are open for public comment until May 13. “It is important that livestock producers speak in support of the proposed rules, whether by attending one of the six meetings that will be held around the state, or by submitting written comments,” Deppe says. “There are some groups that will never be satisfied as long as there is livestock in Iowa; we must let DNR know that we think these rules are workable and fair.”

    When making comments, ICA encourages livestock farmers to make these points:
    •    Introduce yourself by describing your feedlot operation, and explaining the current controls you have in place to protect Iowa’s water quality. If you have had a positive relationship with DNR, describe it.
    •    Note your support for the proposed rule changes that have been agreed to by EPA and DNR in the work plan. These rules bring Iowa regulations in line with federal requirements. (Specifically, these are amendments to Iowa Rules Chapters 64 and 65, regarding CAFOs and NPDES permit requirements.)
    •    These rules conform with state law, which does not allow the state to have stricter guidelines than federal law on Clean Water Act regulations.
    •    The proposed rules allow the DNR to evaluate each operation based on their findings, rather than putting a one-size-fits-all regulation into place. Through rule changes to Chapters 64 and 65, operations that are actually discharging will be required to apply for a permit or eliminate the discharge.

    Written comments can be emailed to Gene Tinker or sent to Gene Tinker, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 502 E. 9th St., Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034

    Hearing locations are:
    Tuesday, May 6, 6 p.m. - Lime Creek Nature Center, 3501 Lime Creek Rd., Mason City.
    Wednesday, May 7, 6 p.m. - Board Room, Clay County Administration Bldg., 300 W. 4th St., Spencer.
    Thursday, May 8, 6 p.m. - Meeting Room, Carroll County Courthouse, 114 E. 6th St., Carroll.
    Friday, May 9, 11 a.m. - Fourth Floor Conference Room, Wallace State Office Bldg., 502 E. 9th St., Des Moines.
    Monday, May 12, 6 p.m. - Room 115, Dairy Center, Northeast Iowa Community College, 1527 Highway 150 South, Calmar.
    Tuesday, May 13, 6 p.m. - Education Center, Marr Park, Washington County Conservation Board, 2943 Highway 92, Ainsworth.