Each year, 22 billion gallons of toxic, untreated waste are discharged onto our land from the thousands of corporate-sponsored hog confinements across the state. Through spills, leaks and run-off, this sewage contaminates our waterways and contributes to Iowa's water crisis.
For decades, our politicians have given special tax breaks and protections to an industry which damages not just our water quality, but our air, health, quality of life, rural communities and property values.
Law-makers know this is a huge problem, but have done nothing to stop it. Their indifference and political cowardice has enabled these factory farms to skirt the rules, avoid environmental regulation, and proliferate. Last year, 448 new factory farms were approved in Iowa. This year, 126 have already been approved. The legislature has failed us on this issue. We need a moratorium.
If a factory farm is building near you, contact Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. We've stopped over 100 factory farms in the past two decades, and we can help your community organize to fight back.
Editor's note: Hartmann is a member of ICCI.