Neighbors hope to raise awareness on potential pollution problems at Bloody Run Creek

The Iowa DNR recently approved a massive cattle confinement facility nearby Bloody Run Creek and neighbors are concerned for the creek's future.
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 10:19 PM CDT
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CLAYTON COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) - Steve Veysey has been fishing at Bloody Run Creek for more than 30 years.

”It is a very special place,” Veysey said. “I brought my kids here when they were young to fish and enjoy and I am hoping to bring my grandkids here if it is still a fishable stream.”

Veysey’s concerns come after the Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently granted approval to Supreme Beef, LLC, for a cattle confinement for around 11,600 animals near Bloody Run. The millions of gallons of manure from the operation, monthly, is what concerns Veysey and other neighbors.

Larry Stone, who is part of the new Save Bloody Run committee, pointed to the karst topography of Northeast Iowa, which allows pollutants and fertilizer to seep into the groundwater rather easily.

”We are just encouraging people to become aware of the situation and to contact their legislators and other officials in authority to say this is a dangerous situation that we have to monitor,” Stone said.

Chris Jones is a research engineer at the University of Iowa who looks at quality data from streams all over Iowa. He said he has been noticing changes in Bloody Run’s quality.

”Bloody Run is the best stream in Iowa over the last 20 years,” Jones said. “Now, it is declining, there is no doubt that it is declining. With that being said, it is still probably first or second stream.”

Even though it is not a guarantee that the cattle confinement facility will pollute Bloody Run Creek, frequent visitors said they do not want to take any risks, which is why they put together the Save Bloody Run committee. Stone said the committee has hit a dead end with the DNR, so now they are considering going to court.

“Unfortunately, we are to the point now that the next step has to be to go to court and see if we can get a judge to agree with our premise that the DNR and the consultants for the Supreme Beef operation used the wrong information and therefore approved a faulty nutrient management plan,” Stone said.

KCRG-TV9 reached out to the Iowa DNR for comment but did not hear back.

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