One man asked about rankings and if Iowa ranked 49th in the nation when it comes to water quality. Or are we higher?
Sheets said states set their own standards which makes state-to-state comparisons very difficult.
Rozenboom said in the last 15 to 20 years, Iowa factories were emitting 225,000 tons of air pollution a year which has dropped to less than 100,000 tons per year.
The same man asked if water quality in the state of Iowa has gotten better or worse in the last 10 years.
Rozenboom answered that question by focusing on the number of hogs in Mahaska County, which hasn’t changed since the 1970s. What has changed is the way those hogs are raised, he said.
“Back then, virtually all of them were outside,” he said. “Where did the waste go? Now, all of the waste is regulated. Virtually all of it is collected and knifed into the ground. A greatly improved way from 40 years ago.”
The same man asked, Is water quality getting better?
“Yes,” Rozenboom said.
A man was the fourth person to raise the issue of water quality.
He talked about the prospect a hog lot was being proposed for Davis and Appanoose County and how neighbors don’t want it built.
He brought up Maschhoff Pork and their recent manure spill and $10,000 fine. He said that facility had four manure spills in the last few years.
His question was, What can be done to hog lot operators who are not good operators?
Rozenboom agreed: “There are bad actors in every industry. I will grant you that.”
Rozenboom said he’s had very minimal experience with manure spills in his area of Iowa. He said manure spills are a “non-issue” in Mahaska County.
The same man said water quality in his lifetime has gone down as streams he played in and fished in as a kid no longer support aquatic life and there are hog facilities right up stream.