Is Factory Farm Hog Manure Guilty Of Trespassing?

BFIA editor’s note:  This group of Iowans is suing the DNR in an attempt to save our state from being destroyed by factory farms (CAFOs). If you would like to help, donation information is located in the text below. Please share this. More info. at their website.

Please read the information/fundraising request by Bob Watson below.


Four months ago we petitioned the Iowa DNR to issue a declaratory order acknowledging that air emissions from hog confinements contain manure, and asked them to regulate hog confinements accordingly. The Iowa Code requires that manure be retained in the building, except when it is being removed for disposal, normally land application. The DNR had 60 days to respond to our petition. Since they did not respond we will be suing the DNR in Polk County District Court in a couple of weeks.

This is a fundraising email/letter. We are asking for your help. The Iowa Attorney General will be defending the DNR. We are assured of an appeal no matter how the decision turns out. We will be up against the state of Iowa coffers, and will need all the monetary help we can get.

The range of monetary help we are asking for starts at “Best Wishes and Goodwill” and goes up through $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000 or more if you can afford it, or any amount in between. We would appreciate any help you can give us in this endeavor.

If you have not seen our legal documents and arguments, they are here.

Before you read those documents, if you are not familiar with our endeavor, there is a good newspaper article that will give you background and a sense of our arguments and effort.

The link to the Decorah Newspaper article is here

When you go online to read the legal documents, it would be best to start with the media guide pdf. That document has notes in the margin that will help you understand what we are doing and how we have constructed our argument. The last page of the media guide is the template we had to follow in order to make our request of the DNR for the declaratory order. That template will also explain what we are about in the document when we say “this addresses template number such and such.”

After reading the media guide, you can go to the main document if you want – A CAFO Petition – to read it without the handwritten notes. The legal documents online include our argument, expert witness letters and their studies, lists of research studies which justify our position, and the studies themselves. We feel comfortable that we have arguments that will address deference, legislative intent, and statutory construction that we are fairly sure the AG will bring forth in their arguments to try to get our case dismissed.

Checks should be made out to and sent to the Midwest Environmental Law Center, note DNR lawsuit in the memo line, at 4403 1st Ave. S.E., Suite 402, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402. Midwest is a 501(c)(3) housed in Wally Taylor’s law office, so your donation is tax deductible.

We will keep track of donations. If in the event of a large sum of money left over, we will make every attempt to return a portion of your donation. In the earlier case of our lawsuit against the EPA (Zook v. EPA), the people we contacted asked us to keep the remainder for a new effort. That is the money that we started this lawsuit with.

If you feel this is a worthwhile endeavor, and if you have networks of your own, please send this along to others who you think might be interested in this or interested in helping us with a contribution for this effort.

If you live in another state and if you think this is something that might work with the laws in your state, please use our arguments as a template for your efforts.

Contact me with any questions you may have.  Thank you for your help with this endeavor.

Bob Watson
2736 Lannon Hill Rd., Decorah, IA 52101
for Larry Stone, Dick Janson, and Lew Klimesh


This entry was posted in Blog for Iowa and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.