From Karon Finn
On July 18, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Food and Water Watch filed a formal rule making petition with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to strengthen the Master Matrix. The Master Matrix is a tool used to evaluate confinement applications and was created by the Iowa Legislature in 2002 with the promise of giving communities a greater voice in construction and more protections. The Master Matrix has not lived up to its promises to the people of Iowa.
In 15 years, the Master Matrix has failed us. Local control or a moratorium on new construction would be a better solution for Iowa, but as we wait for the legislators to enact laws to protect our water quality and help the neighbors who live near confinements, strengthening the Master Matrix is one tool the DNR can use to protect our soil, air, water and neighbors.
The number of applications for confinement construction has skyrocketed in recent years and with the building of two new packing plants in Iowa and one across the state line in Minnesota, we will be inundated with confinements. Under the current Master Matrix, only 2 percent of the applicants have been denied and applicants only need a 50 percent score to be approved.
Now is the time for the people to act. It takes each and every one of us to say, “Enough is enough.” Call your supervisors, talk to the legislators and join the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the Food and Water Watch. Do it now!