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.
Dear Legislators: Leave an Environmental Legacy
Iowa voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in 2010 that would dedicate 3/8 of one cent to the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. The Trust Fund would provide funds allowing increased investment in Iowa’s parks, recreation and clean water. Senate File 504 increases the sales tax by 3/8 of one cent. If passed, the increased tax would be deposited into the Trust Fund. Let legislators know you support the Trust Fund.
Protect Iowans' Land from Eminent Domain
Two bills -- SF506 and HSB249 -- are currently making their way through the legislative process. These two bills impact landowners from the taking of their land for huge utility-related projects -- pipelines and high-current electricity transmission. Both bills passed their subcommittees on April 28, 2015, and are expected to be considered by both chambers' Goverment Oversight Committees. Find out more and contact your legislators to let them know you support these two bills.
Topsoil a Dirty Topic
Topsoil became a dirty subject for conservationists arguing to retain 4" 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 Environmental Protection Commission will be voting on the proposed rules at its June 16 meeting. You can write the EPC Commissioners prior to the meeting to tell them that you do not want them to approve the new rule.
Home construction. Photo credit: USDA NRCS, Lynn Betts
Pipeline Proposed to Cross Iowa
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.
2015 Legislative Session opened January 12
To keep abreast of the environmental issues being addressed by the Iowa legislature, check our 2015 legislature webpage. The Iowa Chapter Executive Committee has outlined its priorities for the legislative session. The priorities fall into one of six categories – Agriculture and CAFOs; Energy; Good Government; Air Qualtity, Waste & Toxics; Water Quality; and Wildlands & Wildlife. See the priorities for the session on the Chapter’s Legislature webpage.
Annual Meeting Planned for October 10, Crown Point Community Center, Johnston
The Iowa Chapter annual meeting is held every fall the Iowa Chapter. Sierra Club members from across the state gather to talk about the environment, enjoy a meal, and hear a great speaker. This year's meeting will be on October 10 at the Crown Point Community Center in Johnston. Check back for more information.