Failure but Opportunity with Master Matrix
August 4, 2017


Letter to the Editor:

Failure but Opportunity with Master Matrix

With Iowa dealing with 300 to 500 new confined animal feeding operations (CAFO's) each year, it is time to re-vamp the only tool to decide whether the siting is appropriate.

This tool is the Master Matrix but since its development fifteen years ago, it has never been up-dated. This is a shame because it allows CAFO's to be built on karst topography, a known dangerous bedrock which funnels the manure directly into wells and aquifers.

It is not common-sense, but this system allows CAFO's to be built close to already impaired sites like Pine Lake in Hardin County, a lake so stressed by farm runoff that it smells and looks horrible, even in May, and spawns toxic blue-green algae in August. And, when scoring, it only takes half of the points, many of which have nothing to do with protection of existing neighbors or natural resources, to "pass".

It is time to correct these, and more, deficiencies and since the Master Matrix falls under the Iowa Department of Natural Resources rulemaking authority, this could and should happen.

To help, go to hftps://

Brenda Brink



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