Why Senate File 455 is Problematic for Sustainable Infrastructure

by | Jan 31, 2024 | Featured, Instagram, News

At Iowa IPL, we envision a world where we live in right relationship with our neighbors and planet. In this spirit, we think that our local cities and counties should maintain a level of control over their infrastructure and community planning to implement sustainable solutions for our communities, land, and waterways. Senate File 455 aims to prevent local control over stormwater and topsoil management effectively taking power away from local jurisdiction. This could worsen already dire conditions for flooding, erosion, and stream degradation in Iowa communities and downstream rural areas – putting our land and waterways at risk. 

The ability for communities to have the freedom to work together on contextual solutions is essential for creating sustainable stormwater infrastructure and topsoil management in our reality of climate change. Localities across the state have diverse terrain, leading to varying solutions to sustainable stormwater management. There’s no universal solution. Maintaining authority within local jurisdictions is vital for developing infrastructure that adequately serves Iowans.

Why We Need Effective Stormwater Infrastructure:

  • Affordable housing options in Iowa are often coupled with greater flood risk that is compounded by climate change. 
  • Installing improper or undersized stormwater infrastructure causes extensive downstream flooding and loss of people’s homes, faith communities, and businesses. 
  • Local governments, businesses, and residents all share the cost of stormwater infrastructure. Just like roadways, drinking water lines, and sanitary sewers, stormwater infrastructure is a necessity for the common good. 
  • Proactive stormwater solutions are less disruptive and more cost effective in the long-term than future repairs and remediation.

  • SF 455 puts Iowa out of compliance with state and federal requirements including the EPA Clean Water Act.

We need local control so communities are able to use the management strategies that work for their unique and individual communities. Without this, we lose the ability to create and develop sustainable solutions throughout Iowa to protect our water and topsoil. We have a responsibility to protect creation on Earth, and make room for our communities to continue to grow and thrive in a sustainable way – which is why Iowa IPL is opposed to SF 455.

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