Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission has denied a petition seeking a reversal of a Department of Natural Resources decision to greenlight an 11,600-head cattle feedlot near Monona.
David Steward, assistant Iowa attorney general representing the commission, wrote a letter to the Sierra Club, Iowa Environmental Council and other petitioners Monday rejecting the petition, saying Iowa law doesn’t allow for such a review.
“DNR’s approval of Supreme Beef’s nutrient management plan was ’other agency action,’” Steward wrote. “As such, Chapter 17A does not provide for EPC’s review of that decision by way of a petition for review or any other means.”
The 12-page petition, sent to the commission Friday, says the Supreme Beef feedlot — which will be one of the largest feeding operations in the state — will produce far more manure than is stated in its nutrient management plan approved by the DNR April 2.
Because the feedlot is on porous terrain in the watershed of an important trout stream, the petition states, there is high risk of manure running into the water and potentially killing fish and destroying their habitat.
The denial opens the door for the environmental groups to file a lawsuit against the state. Sierra Club spokeswoman Jess Mazour said Tuesday the groups are considering options.
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