10,000 head cattle operation & methane digester planned for Bloody Run

DNR Public Meeting: October 11th  from 4 to 6 pm at Elkader City Hall

Submitted by Clayton County CAN member, Larry Stone

Walz Energy, headed by John Haman of West Des Moines, is constructing a 10,000-head (that’s 10,000 at one time or

Bloody Run Creek, Clayton County IA

20,000 per year!) cattle feeding facility and methane digester along Highway 18 & 52 east of Monona, in the watershed of Bloody Run Creek.

Haman’s goal is to capture the manure to produce and sell natural gas. Grading has been under way on the approx. 40-acre site for several months. And they are proceeding with construction of manure storage structures and livestock buildings.

However, the DNR has not yet issued the required National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit (NPDES), which essentially says the construction must not allow any runoff that affects Bloody Run. DNR Public Notice

The Iowa DNR has done some monitoring of the project, but has allowed work to continue while the bureaucrats work on permit details. The DNR has denied the request for a public hearing but will conduct a public meeting on October 11 in Elkader.”

Those not able to attend should contact the DNR to outline your concerns and request a formal public hearing on this matter.  Sample Letter


Monona Outlook

National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System
Notice Date: 8/18/2017
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is proposing to issue a NPDES
(National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit for the discharge de-scribed below:

DISCHARGER NAME AND AD-DRESS: Walz Energy 22578 Hwy 18
Monona, IA 52159
LOCATION: Clayton County

Bloody Run Creek at the points of discharge is a Class Al, Class A2, Class B(CW-1) and Class HH stream. Class A1 primary contact recreational use streams involve full body immersion, including pro-longed and direct contact with the water. Class A2 secondary contact recreational use streams involve incidental or accidental contact with the water. Class B(CW-1)
streams are waters in which temperature and flow are suitable for the maintenance of a variety of coldwater species. Class HH (Human Health) streams are waters in which fi sh are routinely harvested for human consumption.

The permit would authorize the discharge of storm water from the construction site.
Anyone wishing to comment on or object to the proposed permit must do so in writing within 45 days of the date shown at the top of this notice. All comments received will be considered in the fi nal decision to issue or deny the permit. If no objections are received within 45 days, the Department will issue a final permit.
You may request that the Department hold a public hearing by submitting a writ-
ten request citing specific reasons and a proposed list of topics to cover.

Comments, objections, and requests for hearings must be addressed to:
Department of Natural Resources, Storm Water Coordinator, 502 East 9th Street,
Des Moines, IA 50319.

Copies of this notice, the proposed permit and other information are on file
and available for public inspection from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through
Friday at the above address.

Department of Natural Resources
Storm Water Coordinator
502 East 9th Street,
Des Moines, IA 50319.

Walz Energy
22578 Hwy 18
Monona, IA 52159
LOCATION: Clayton County


I strongly request a public hearing on this proposed NPDES permit. The large scope of the construction work – about 40 acres – and the location in the watershed of a coldwater stream that is an Outstanding Iowa Water – would seem to demand more scrutiny and public input/awareness. People in the neighborhood deserve the chance to comment on the work’s impacts on their county. And people who use and enjoy Bloody Run Creek – people from throughout the region and beyond – should be able to voice their comments about an industrial operation that has a real potential to damage this sensitive environment.

Topics for a public hearing might include: whether it is even possible to assure no adverse impacts to the resources of the Bloody Run Creek Valley; what the tourism impacts have been and will be of an industrial agriculture facility adjacent to one of the most-traveled visitor routes in the region; why the construction work has been allowed to continue for several months without a permit; whether there have been any incidents of discharge that already might have affected Bloody run; after construction, what will be the impacts of 20,000 cattle per year and their waste on the landscape and on Bloody Run Creek; how much manure will need to be disposed of, and where, after being processed by the methane generator; what are the potential impacts of vehicles hauling feed, moving cattle, and otherwise servicing the site.

What’s proposed is not a benign farming operation, but rather a large-scale industrial facility. We need to recognize the potential impacts on the community.




Larry A. Stone