On Monday, February 8, Iowa Representative Art Staed introduced HF 2305, a new CAFO moratorium bill halting construction of new or expanding CAFOs with 1250 or more hogs. HF 2305 goes further than previous bills and contains many new provisions including integrator responsibility.
Most significantly, for CAFOs with 2500 or more hogs, integrators now would be considered a joint owner with a contract grower and have mutual responsibility for any CAFO pollution.
Integrators are mega-corporations that typically own the hogs and they provide the feed and veterinary care and dictate CAFO management to contract growers. The contract growers are local farmers who raise an integrator’s hogs in buildings they finance themselves. These farmers are also responsible for manure disposal.
This new provision takes the burden off contract growers who, trapped in the current system, are solely responsible for DNR fines and cleanup costs when manure pollution occurs. It also reveals the identity of integrators who are typically hidden from public view.
HF 2305 also includes the following:
Integrators would be listed on both the construction and manure management plan (MMP) applications.
An additional National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit would be required for CAFOs. The US EPA requires NPDES permits for industries that may discharge pollutants into waterways, including CAFOs, and it limits the amount of discharge that is allowed. Violating NPDES permits carry a much stiffer penalty ($5,000 - $50,000 a day) than Iowa violations. Iowa doesn’t presently require NPDES permits for CAFOs, taking a position that confinement buildings are designed to not discharge pollutants. However, Iowa wouldn’t have some of the country’s dirtiest waterways if that were always the case.
Iowa’s CAFO rules could be more stringent than Federal EPA rules for factory farms, a position the state currently doesn’t hold.
A CAFO’s production contract would be required as part of the MMP applications. Presently these are considered private documents.
Partially roofed buildings would be included in the moratorium. This is particularly relevant for cattle confinements, which are not considered CAFOs when a roof only covers 90% of a building.
Twenty Iowa House Representatives have currently signed on to HF 2305, the highest number of co-sponsors to date.
Representatives Jeff Shipley and Joe Mitchell have not yet signed on as a sponsor, yet 63% of Iowa voters support a factory farm moratorium. Urge them to support HF 2305 today. You can contact them here:
Rep. Jeff Shipley
Rep. Joe Mitchell
If you live outside of the Jefferson County area, find your legislator here. All co-sponsoring legislators are listed on the first page of the bill.