Ag + Environment

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New E15 bill has backing of petroleum group

BY: - November 30, 2022

A newly introduced bill in the U.S. Senate that would permanently expand the summertime availability of blended gasoline with 15% ethanol appears to have the support of the country’s largest trade association for the oil and natural gas industries. Those industries have historically opposed the expansion of E15 sales, but U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, an […]

Livestock producers fined for manure management violations

BY: - November 29, 2022

Several livestock producers have been fined by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in recent weeks for failing to comply with manure management requirements, according to DNR records. Most of the violations pertained to required annual updates of manure management plans, which determine how much manure can be applied to fields to avoid excessive application. […]

Little appetite for Manchin permitting bill in congressional lame-duck session

BY: - November 27, 2022

Among the items on Congress’ lengthy to-do list by the end of the year is U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s proposal to speed up the federal government’s permitting process that certifies energy projects do not harm the environment. But the bill, which was a condition of the centrist West Virginia Democrat’s support for his party’s larger […]

Mobile home park fined for inadequate wastewater treatment

BY: - November 25, 2022

A mobile home park on the eastern outskirts of Iowa City failed for more than two years to address the excessive contamination it discharges from its wastewater treatment system, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Sunrise Village was recently ordered by the DNR to pay an $8,000 fine. It was required by the […]


Only one thing dumber than a turkey

BY: - November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving is big business in Buggy Land. My Amish neighbors Abram and Bertha raise turkeys — free range, no chemicals or hormones — hot items for Iowa City folks who like to drive down here to pick up their fresh birds the night before their holiday dinners. The Yutzys call all their grown children back […]

‘Major source’ of air pollution operated without permits for decades, DNR says

BY: - November 22, 2022

A Muscatine company that operates a large, gas-powered dryer to process sand that it sells has failed for decades to obtain permits to update and operate it, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Northern Filter Media has operated just south of Muscatine for more than a hundred years, processing sand and gravel to […]

Thanksgiving holiday renews focus on bird flu, rising costs

BY: - November 22, 2022

Fresh turkeys are more expensive and smaller than usual leading into the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s due, in part, to the deadly and highly transmissible avian influenza that has wracked turkey producers this year. The virus, which is transmitted by wild, migrating birds, has led to the deaths of […]

Yield predictions are rosier as harvest concludes

BY: - November 21, 2022

Average corn yields in Iowa are expected to approach last year’s record despite the significant drought that developed throughout the growing season, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Harvest is pretty well complete, and I think people were pleasantly surprised with the corn yields, as well as the soybean yields,” said Aaron Saeugling, an […]

Large CAFOs are known polluters. Here’s why EPA permits only cover one-third

BY: - November 21, 2022

This story was originally published by Investigate Midwest.  The Environmental Protection Agency is charged with protecting important waterways from pollution, but manure from concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, continues to harm waterways — and only one-third of the largest facilities have a federal permit. EPA permits require CAFO operators to tell the agency how much waste the […]

As utilities spend billions on transmission, support builds for independent monitoring

BY: - November 20, 2022

An aging electric grid, fossil fuel power plant retirements and a massive renewable electricity buildout are all contributing to a boom in transmission and distribution wire projects by electric utilities across the country.  In 2020, investor-owned electric utilities spent $25 billion on transmission, up from $23.7 billion in 2019, figures that the Edison Electric Institute, […]

D.C. Dispatch: Iowa delegation makes ag trade push

BY: - November 18, 2022

Iowa’s federal legislators are calling for more support for Iowa farmers amid rising costs and potential cuts to international trade. U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley called for the U.S. trade representative to intervene against the country’s plan to ban the importation of American genetically modified corn. The proposal would effectively stop the importation […]

Pipeline company sues a second Iowa county over local ordinances

BY: - November 17, 2022

A company that hopes to build a carbon dioxide pipeline across Iowa is suing a second Iowa county over local efforts to regulate the placement of the controversial pipeline. Summit Carbon Solutions, which hopes to build a pipeline to transport carbon dioxide across Iowa, sued Story County earlier this week in U.S. District Court for […]