Letters to the Pilot

Monday, April 28, 2003

Annoyed by Iowa odor, roads


Recently, my wife and I returned to our home in rural Humboldt County after spending several months in Ft. Myers, Fla. While we were there, we became spoiled and began to take the clean air for granted.

With Florida's clean air, we nearly had forgotten about the large hog factory farms back in Iowa with their open manure lagoons. When we returned to Iowa, we were reminded almost immediately of the hog factories fouling our air. My wife and I both started to have breathing problems...

It's 1,700 miles from Southwest Florida to Goldfield, Iowa. The trip takes one through Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and into Iowa. Once in Iowa, one cannot help but notice the poor condition of our highways and a landscape dotted with rundown, broken farmsteads and small towns, and a countryside littered with factory farms. Why has our Governor, the Legislature and the DNR allowed this to happen to what was only a short time ago such a beautiful state?

The Governor and the Legislature must do three things to help reverse this trend. Give us local control, make air quality standards stronger, and finally, the Governor can take a big step to help fight factory farms by getting rid of a DNR Director Vonk. He hasn't protected rural lowans from polluting factory farms.

Lyle D. Spencer, Goldfield