Iowa DNR Fails to Protect Outstanding Iowa Water

posted on Thursday, October 26, 2017 in Council News

Contact:

Emily Holley
Communications Director
Iowa Environmental Council
515-664-3405 (Cell)
515-244-1194, 210 (Office)
holley@iaenvironment.org

Iowa DNR Fails to Protect Outstanding Iowa Water

Des Moines – In response to the Iowa Department of Natural Resource’s failure to protect an Outstanding Iowa Water, the Iowa Environmental Council urges immediate action from IDNR to protect Bloody Run Creek from polluted runoff. The pollution is due to the ongoing construction of a 10,000-head cattle feed lot near Monona, Iowa, in Clayton County. A report released on October 24 by the IDNR indicates that it is allowing the facility’s continued construction despite a discharge of polluted runoff without a storm water construction permit and adequate protections in place to protect Bloody Run. Since construction began in the spring, the IDNR has reviewed several versions of the facility’s application for a storm water construction permit and has rejected these plans as inadequate to protect Bloody Run from polluted runoff from the construction site. However, construction is allowed to continue.

 “Bloody Run Creek, a cold-water trout stream that is a popular tourist and recreational destination is one of only 34 specially designated Outstanding Iowa Waters and is granted heightened protections under state law,” said Susan Heathcote, water program director for the Iowa Environmental Council. “Unfortunately, Bloody Run will continue to be degraded with each rainfall as long as construction is allowed to continue without an effective pollution prevention plan. IDNR must prioritize the protection of Bloody Run and order a stop to all construction until adequate protections for the area are put in place and follow-up investigations are done to ensure those protections are effective. The Iowa Environmental Council will continue to act as a watchdog on behalf of Iowans' health and safety and the protection and preservation of our natural resources.”

A storm water construction permit is required prior to any “earth-moving activities” affecting one or more acres to ensure that the developer has protective measures in place to prevent sediment and other pollutants from being washed off-site into downstream water bodies.

Local residents notified the Council about the construction underway in the watershed above Bloody Run Creek. The Council worked with these local residents to call for the IDNR to hold a public hearing on the storm water construction permit. The public hearing will be held on November 29 in the County Office Building at 600 Gunder Rd. in Elkader.

###

The Iowa Environmental Council is an alliance of diverse organizations and individuals working together to protect Iowa's natural environment. Founded in 1995, it is the largest and most comprehensive environmental coalition in the state. Through education, advocacy and coalition building, the Council raises awareness, generates action and creates large-scale change that makes Iowa a better place to live, work and explore.

About The Author

Emily joined the Council in November of 2016. As the Council's Communications & Outreach Director, Emily works with all departments to craft the Council's messaging strategies and manages the website. She also works to extend the Council's outreach to all Iowans. 

Emily was raised in Newton, Iowa. She earned a B.A. from Luther College with majors in Political Science and Sociology. In 2015, Emily earned an M.P.A. from Drake University. Prior to joining the Council, Emily ran the historic End Alz Iowa Caucus campaign for the Alzheimer's Association. In her spare time, Emily advocates for individuals living with chronic pain, plays the viola and bakes pies.