Governor Culver’s office publicly opposes “Manure in Water” bill — HF 2324

By Natalie Snyders, 515-282-0484,; Kristin Schaaf, 515-255-0800,
2/23/2010; Iowa CCI

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2010, DES MOINES, IOWA — Governor Culver’s chief of staff and top political advisor Jim Larew told more than 100 members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) during a meeting at the State Capitol Monday that the Culver Administration opposed HF 2324, a bill that would gut the ban on the application and spreading of manure on frozen and snow-covered ground — a bad practice that has resulted in record levels of ammonia pollution in our rivers and streams and forced the Des Moines Water Works to draw on alternative water sources on more than one occasion. Manure contaminated water has been linked to infectious diseases like dysentery, hepatitis, and typhoid, as well as the seasonal "dead-zone" in the Gulf of Mexico.  
When asked where Governor Culver stood on the issue, Larew responded, "There is no way this office is in favor of weakening last year’s bill." Members of Iowa CCI won the passage of legislation banning the application of manure on frozen and snow-covered ground during the 2009 legislative session. HF 2324 would gut these efforts.  
Iowa CCI members mobilized at the Capitol for a Clean Water Lobby Day and press conference to deliver a simple message to the governor and legislative leaders: "Kill the bill."  
"Governor Culver called me on the phone last week because he knows I’m a CCI member concerned about the environment," said Rosie Partridge of Wall Lake. "The governor himself promised me that he would veto this bill. He needs to publicly speak out against it."  
"House File 2324 will essentially allow 5,500 factory farms to dump manure in our water whenever they want," said CCI Executive Director Hugh Espey. "This bill is shameful, and we are going to stop it dead in its tracks."  
In addition to Iowa CCI – groups strongly opposing HF 2324 also include: the Environmental Protection Agency, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Sierra Club, Iowa Environmental Council, Iowa Farmer’s Union and Des Moines Water Works.  
House leadership must stand on the side of millions of everyday Iowans, not 5,500 factory farms, and kill HF 2324. Iowans demand legislators not cater to corporate ag special interests and put people before politics, profits and polluters.  
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is a group of everyday people who talk, act and get things done on issues that matter most. With thousands of members from all walks of life — urban and rural, black and white, immigrants and lifelong Iowans — CCI has been tackling tough issues and getting things done for 35 years.