EPA FOIA Documents Reveal Branstad Interference is Undermining Prospects for Badly Needed Clean Water Act Reforms

May 20 demand letter to U.S. EPA signed by Governor Terry Branstad indicates one of his administration’s top priorities is to protect corporate ag profits at the expense of everyday people, water quality, and the environment

July 16, 2013

One year after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an Investigation Report finding serious failings in Iowa’s Clean Water Act program for factory farms, EIP and coalition partners have received documents showing that the Iowa Governor’s office has recently become involved in the process to develop a Work Plan Agreement between EPA and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  The Governor signed a May 20th letter to EPA Headquarters opposing inspections for thousands of Iowa factory farms and resisting EPA oversight of state plans to better implement the Clean Water Act, despite record nitrate levels in the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers and the state’s growing list of polluted waterways.

EIP and coalition partners also received documents demonstrating the factory farm industry’s influence over the Work Plan Agreement process, including industry-driven revisions to the draft Work Plan Agreement that the Iowa DNR submitted directly to EPA.  A March letter from EPA to the DNR indicates that further delay by Iowa in signing a strong Work Plan Agreement could threaten the state’s authority to run its Clean Water Act program.

For the press release, click here.

For EPA Region 7’s March 20th letter to DNR Director Gipp, click here.

For Governor Branstad’s May 20th letter to EPA Acting Administrator Perciasepe, click here.

For EPA Region 7’s May 31st response to Governor Branstad, click here.

For a DNR email submitting industry’s Work Plan revisions to EPA, click here.

For the industry organizations’ redlined draft Work Plan Agreement, click here.

For EPA’s March 12th draft Work Plan Agreement rejecting most industry proposals, click here.