Groups Invite EPA Admin. Regan Back to Iowa for Community Tour

Groups say Administrator Regan’s May visit to Iowa sends troubling message about his commitment to holding polluters accountable to the state’s worsening water and factory farm crisis.

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Food System

For Immediate Release

Des Moines, IA — Today, Food & Water Watch and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan demanding that he return to Iowa to participate in a tour of factory farm-impacted communities and to meet with people who have been harmed by the buildout of industrial agriculture across the state. The letter is in response to Administrator Regan’s visit to the state earlier this month, which he spent cozying up to industrial agricultural interests rather than meeting with people harmed by Iowa’s 13,000 factory farms.

The Raccoon River, which provides drinking water to half a million Iowans, was recently named one of the ten most endangered rivers in the country, citing the grave threat that factory farms and other industrial agricultural pollution pose to drinking water. As Iowans face another summer of drought and water scarcity, algae blooms from this pollution are already threatening the remaining water supply. Iowa needs urgent action to address this growing water crisis, and Administrator Regan’s recent visit with the Farm Bureau sends a troubling message about his commitment to protecting the state’s water and holding polluters accountable under environmental laws.

“In his visit to the state earlier this month, Administrator Regan followed the well-trodden path of DC officials currying favor with industrial agriculture corporations and their legislative enablers. But with warnings about water quality, toxic algal blooms and drinking water shortages already issued for summer 2021, it’s time for our leaders to get serious about solving Iowa’s water and factory farm crises,” said Emma Schmit, Food & Water Watch Iowa Organizer. “That should start at the top — Regan must commit to returning to Iowa to hear from some of the thousands of people who have been harmed by the buildout of factory farms across Iowa.”

“Iowa’s well-documented water crisis is a result of years of deregulation and failed voluntary efforts to reign in the impacts of industrialized ag across the state. We know that like the back of our hand,” said Adam Mason, State Policy Director at Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. “If the Biden Administration is truly interested in ‘building back better,’ it will start with Administrator Regan hearing from folks on the ground, across the state, who know what it will take to clean up our water and reset our food and farm system, as opposed from those profiting off the current industrialized model.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]