Charter and Bylaws 2010-08-20
2008 Democratic Party Platform
Iowa’s economy and the lives of its people depend on protecting our natural resources. High quality water and topsoil are vanishing with the proliferation of unsustainable planting of corn on corn. Wetlands are being drained by ditches into the Upper Cedar Valley Group Aquifer in Mitchell County, IA, Cedar (W) Township and other areas with no legal drainage outlets. This pollutes wells in that plume with anhydrous ammonia, atrazine, and high cadmium lead. Government agencies (the IDNR and Mitchell Co. Sanitarian) failed to provide test results from 1993 and later years despite complaints regarding the water quality. When IDNR’s 1993 test results were provided in 2009, the levels were comparable to those from a Minnesota dairy farm discussed in the documentary film, “Troubled Waters: A Mississipppi River Story”. That family farm suffered livestock death causing them to drill a well to an unpolluted aquifer. This film identifies some sustainable farming practices that could lessen the anhydrous ammonia contamination of our drinking water. Gary Lack, neighbor Carl Christiansen and others downstream in Mitchell Co. have passed away with health effects associated with this pollution, as did some of our livestock. Well test results were not provided until 16 years to late. The Corps of Engineers claims they cannot intervene despite laws protecting our water. These laws are written with wording that leaves out swales, intermittant and rising streams, and aquifers from the definition of navigable streams that the Corps is bound to protect. Mike Hayes called the polluters a group of renegades and said he would never give them a legal AG Drainage Well Permit. But the financial incentive promoted by our government’s USDA-flawed farm programs continues to drive polluters to further damage farmland, roads, bridges, and drinking water quality, as well as cause increased flooding to homes and cities downstream. This needs to be changed now. We need enforcement of the Clean Water Act by the IDNR and the USDA-NRCS and FSA against those and other farmers who are profiting at the expense of lives downstream. We are all deserving of safe drinking water.