The State of Iowa and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have struck an agreement that will avoid immediate federal oversight of Iowa livestock operations, but the state has agreed to conduct in-person inspections of about 32-hundred confinement operations within the next five years. Kevin Baskins is a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the agency that will be in charge of the inspections.
David Goodner is a spokesman for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, one of the groups pushing for tougher regulation of livestock operations.
The so-called “work plan” was signed by representatives of the State of Iowa and by officials in the E-P-A’s regional office in Kansas City. “Large” operations with more than a thousand head of cattle, more than 25-hundred hogs or more than 82-thousand laying hens will be inspected by someone from the Department of Natural Resources, then “medium-sized” confinements will be inspected. Goodner says facilities found to be polluting the water will be forced to get federal operating permits, which has never happened in Iowa before. Goodner says his group, the Sierra Club and the Environmental Integrity Project will not drop the threat of their lawsuit, however.