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DNR's Master Matrix for confinement operations draws more discussion Monday

Posted: Mon, Jul 10, 2017 11:34 AM

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) has asked the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors to co-sign a formal rule-making petition to the Department of Natural Resources, which asks DNR to strengthen the master matrix it uses to judge confined animal feeding operations (CAFOS).  But on Monday morning the majority of Winneshiek County supervisors said the ICCI's focus is misplaced.

Supervisor John Beard had asked for a discussion of the master matrix.  Beard said if citizens pressure their local county boards and then county supervisors pressure state legislators, changes could be made in the master matrix.

But County Board Chair John Logsdon and Supervisor Dean Thompson questioned why the ICCI was targeting county boards instead of the state legislature.  Both supervisors earlier signed a resolution calling for a review of the master matrix regulations (, but both wanted to continue to work through the Iowa State Association of Counties and not through an advocacy group like ICCI.  They agreed to continue talking with ISAC officials, but were worried about associating with an advocacy group that takes positions on multiple issues, not just confinement operations.

Beard said changes are needed in the master matrix and he's hoping for a "positive dialogue" about possible changes, especially those recognizing NE Iowa's karst topography, which puts its groundwater at greater risk than groundwater in other parts of the state.