The Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club's members are approximately 5,000 of your friends and neighbors. Inspired by nature, we work together to protect our communities and the planet. The Club is America's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.
The Iowa Chapter will take action so all Iowans can enjoy clean air, clean water, clean and renewable energy, expansion and protection of natural areas and wildlife and a government that represents people not polluters.
Stop By Our Exhibit at the Butterfly Festival, Sept. 20 from noon to 4:00, at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines
Each group that is exhibiting will feature a craft project for the youngsters who stop by. We will be making butterflies from recycled materials - 2 pages of a magazine for the wings and a twist tie for the antennae .
Annual Meeting Planned for October 10, Crown Point Community Center, Johnston
The Iowa Chapter annual meeting will be held on October 10 at the Crown Point Community Center in Johnston. Steve Horn, a Research Fellow at DeSmogBlog and a freelance investigative journalist based out of Madison, Wisconsin, will be the featured speaker.
Cost is $25 per person. Pre-register by completing the registration form and sending a check to Sierra Club, Iowa Chapter, 3839 Merle Hay Road, Suite 280, Des Moines, Iowa, 50310. Reservations must be made by October 2.
The Chapter will be presenting awards to individuals and groups that have done outstanding work in protecting the environment. For more information on the nominations.
For more information, click here.
Topsoil a Dirty Topic
The Administrative Rules Review Committee on August 11 failed to pass a session delay on the 4-inch topsoil rule by a vote of 5-3. However, it did pass a general referral to legislative committees for consideration. Read more.
The rule will take effect on October 1, however the Iowa legislature will be reviewing the rule next legislative session, which begins in January, 2016. The Department of Natural Resources was directed to provide information to the legislature about the costs of restoring topsoil to a building site.
Topsoil became a dirty subject for conservationists arguing to retain 4 inches of topsoil after new development construction and developers who say it's simply too expensive. Reasons for the topsoil restoration are to help increase water infiltration into the soil, to prevent runoff and erosion, to retain healthy soil and to lessen the degradation of water quality. Topsoil retention will aid the homebuyers in their efforts to establish landscaping on their lots – grass, trees and gardens. The Iowa Chapter opposes the new rule that would eliminate the requirement to restore 4 inches of topsoil to a building site.
Home construction. Photo credit: USDA NRCS, Lynn Betts
Pipeline Proposed to Cross Iowa - IUB hearing expected in November, 2015
Iowans are fired up in opposition to the prospect of a crude oil pipeline crossing our state from one corner to another. See the Sierra Club Iowa Chapter’s webpage dedicated to this proposal and check back often for updates. Energy Transfer Partners (ETF), also doing business as Dakota Access, announced plans for a proposed oil pipeline that will run diagonally across Iowa, through 18 counties. It will carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois where it will link with another pipeline that will transport the oil to terminals along the Gulf of Mexico. The Iowa Utilities Board is not accepting letters in oppostion of the pipeline. Check the issues page for more information.
Currently the Iowa Utilities Board has indicated that the hearing will be scheduled to be held in November, 2015. Check back for more definitive dates.
Iowa Chapter in the State Fair Parade
The Chapter participated in this year's Iowa State Fair parade on August 12. See photos from this event.
2015 Legislative Session Wraps Up
Legislators finished their session business and closed on June 5. See the environmental issues addressed by the Iowa legislature during the 2015 session. Check our 2015 Legislature webpage for information and articles about environmental bills that were debated and the Chapter's priorities for the legislative session.