Environmental advocacy groups ask DNR director to overrule feedlot project

Via Flickr.

Eleanor Hildebrandt | May 27, 2021

Environmental groups and state lawmakers are asking Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon to block a project that plans to place 11,600 cattle near a protected trout stream in northeast Iowa.

The Supreme Beef cattle operation is planned to be near Monona and Bloody Run Creek. The creek is a protected trout stream and is considered an Outstanding Iowa Water. The feedlot will be in the creek’s watershed. Supreme Beef plans to apply manure in fields that are also in the watershed.

More than 40 groups, individuals, and elected officials sent a letter to Lyon asking her to use the “director discretion rule” to veto the approval of the operation. Lyon was appointed by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to head the DNR. She formerly worked as a lobbyist for the Iowa Instituted for Cooperatives according to Iowa Capital Dispatch.

The letter argues the risk posed to the water quality of the Bloody Run Creek is “just too high”. Five state representatives and four state senators signed onto the letter alongside the Sierra Club and the Iowa Environmental Council. Agricultural groups like the Iowa Farmers Union also signed the letter.

The groups are asking for a “departmental evaluation” of the proposal to provide special protection of the environmentally sensitive area due to the potential for manure to run into the Bloody Run Creek’s waterway.

The approval of the feedlot was decided on April 2. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, if Lyons does not overrule the plan, environmental groups could consider filing a lawsuit against Supreme Beef.

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