Battle between environmental groups and Iowa's DNR heads to court

The Sierra Club's Iowa Chapter filed a legal appeal earlier this month claiming the state's Department of Natural Resources violated its own rules when the agency approved the nutrient management plans for a feedlot near a trout stream.


By: Noah Fish, Agweek (ND)

Oct. 7, 2021


MONONA, Iowa — An environmental group in Iowa says the agency that regulates animal feeding operations in the state was wrong when it approved a large cattle feedlot located near a trout stream in northeast Iowa.


The Sierra Club's Iowa Chapter filed an appeal Sept. 23 in Clayton County District Court, claiming Iowa's Department of Natural Resources violated its own rules this past spring when it approved the nutrient management plan (NMP) for a feedlot located near Bloody Run Creek.


The indispensable party named in the filing is Supreme Beef LLC, which submitted the proposal for the 11,600-animal feedlot operation. Iowa's DNR approved Supreme Beef's plan to expand a cattle feedlot near Monona from 2,700-head to 11,600 near the headwaters of the creek.


The area is considered to be part of the state's Driftless region, known for its karst topography. Bloody Run Creek is a cold-water trout stream designated by Iowa's DNR as one of Iowa’s 34 “outstanding waters”


Supreme Beef's proposed operation would make it one of the largest feeding operations in the state, according to the lawsuit, and in the "top one-third of one percent of animal feeding operations in Iowa," based on the DNR's animal feeding operation database...