Ag + Environment

Swimming not recommended at three state beaches

BY: - May 27, 2023

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issued swimming warnings for three state parks ahead of the Memorial Day weekend in its first beach report of the year. Due to high bacteria levels, the department does not recommend swimming at Union Grove State Park in Tama County, Lake Keomah State Park in Mahaska County, and the […]

D.C. Dispatch: Iowa lawmakers weigh in on wetlands, fentanyl, student loans

BY: - May 26, 2023

Fentanyl, truck emissions and student loan relief topped discussion for Iowa lawmakers in the House this week as senators spent time back in their districts. Iowa GOP lawmakers also celebrated a Supreme Court ruling on wetlands regulation and addressed government spending issues. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of a […]

Environmental groups seek Biden moratorium on carbon dioxide pipelines

BY: - May 25, 2023

President Joe Biden should prevent the construction of new carbon dioxide pipelines until changes to federal rules are adopted to increase their safety, opponents of the projects said Thursday. The call for an executive order to stall the projects comes as federal regulators consider changes to pipeline requirements and are set to hold a two-day […]

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Biden wetlands regulation, ruling for Idaho couple

BY: - May 25, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a major environmental decision on Thursday, overturned the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of wetlands that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction. The justices sided with an Idaho couple who had said they should not be required to obtain federal permits to build on their property that lacked any navigable water. All […]

Dry years cut nitrate loads in Iowa’s rivers

BY: - May 24, 2023

The amount of farm fertilizers going into Iowa’s waterways diminished considerably with the widespread drought of recent years, according to newly released state data. That data, which tracks the progress of the state’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy, received its first comprehensive update in years this week and is displayed in a series of online dashboards. It […]

Hundreds of fish die from ‘spawning stress’ in Iowa lakes

BY: - May 24, 2023

A significant number of bluegill and crappie recently died at two southern Iowa lakes, the likely result of natural stresses the fish suffer during spawning season, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The panfish kills were noted at Pony Creek Lake in Mills County and Little River Watershed Lake in Decatur County, said […]

Dispute over biofuels tech leads to a third round of litigation

BY: - May 23, 2023

A long-simmering dispute over biofuels technology has resulted in a Massachusetts company suing Iowa’s Clean Fuels Alliance America for allegedly disclosing confidential company information now being used by an Ames company. It’s the third round of litigation involving Hull Partners, a Massachusetts company that is involved in the research for biodiesel fuels, and Clean Fuels […]

Corn and soybean planting is mostly finished in Iowa

BY: - May 22, 2023

About 95% of Iowa’s expected corn crop has been planted, well ahead of the five-year average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Damp conditions early last week eventually gave way to warmer and drier weather, which allowed many farmers across the state to wrap up planting,” said Mike Naig, the state’s agriculture secretary. Corn […]


Fish passage project: A first of its kind

BY: - May 21, 2023

More than a century ago, Robert Coker traveled to Keokuk on a cold, windy day in late April. A scientist at the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries Biological Laboratory at Fairport, Iowa, Coker had come to examine conditions at what was known then as the Keokuk Dam. The dam and hydropower project, an engineering marvel that […]

With summer coming fast, regulator issues electric-reliability warning

BY: - May 20, 2023

As much as two thirds of North America could face shortages of electricity this summer in the event of severe and protracted heat, according to the regulator in charge of setting and enforcing standards for the electric grid.  “Increased, rapid deployment of wind, solar and batteries have made a positive impact,” said Mark Olson, manager […]

Overhaul federal permitting as part of the debt limit deal? Not as easy as it sounds.

BY: - May 18, 2023

Congressional leaders negotiating a deal to avoid a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt are talking about including an overhaul of how the federal government reviews projects for their environmental impact. There is bipartisan support for changes to the lengthy environmental approval process among climate-minded Democrats eager to speed construction of renewable energy projects, as […]

State grain fund appeals are set for next week

BY: - May 18, 2023

Several farmers seeking compensation because of a soybean dealer bankruptcy and whose claims to the state were partially or wholly denied will get reconsiderations of those claims next week. The Iowa Grain Indemnity Fund Board is set to hold four appeal hearings that cover 11 claims on May 26. Those appeals are in regard to […]