Ag + Environment

Iowa lawsuit over California’s hog-confinement law headed for a hearing

BY: - July 20, 2021

A federal judge will hear arguments next month in a case that involves Iowa pork producers and their challenge of a California state law restricting the sale of pork in that state. The Iowa Pork Producers Association has requested a preliminary injunction that would block enforcement of California’s Proposition 12. The state of California has […]

As Congress tries to regulate ‘forever chemicals,’ local water systems push back

BY: - July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and Fred Upton, a Republican, […]

U.S. Senate panel schedules vote on Stone-Manning to head public lands agency

BY: - July 19, 2021

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee is expected to vote Thursday on the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to lead the Bureau of Land Management, a step forward for her confirmation after weeks of aggressive Republican opposition. Committee Chairman Joe Manchin III, a West Virginia Democrat, and ranking Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming on […]

Dico site

EPA begins Dico building demolition, city could save $191K on its share

BY: - July 19, 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday began tearing down the most contaminated buildings at a Des Moines Superfund site chosen for a proposed professional soccer stadium and other development. “It’s a huge milestone,” Des Moines Assistant City Manager Pam Cooksey said in an interview. “It’s been decades in the making.” The 43-acre former Dico site […]

Conflicting versions of tree-spiking case overshadow Stone-Manning nomination

BY: - July 17, 2021

Tracy Stone-Manning and a former federal investigator during the past few days shared widely varying accounts of her involvement in a 1989 tree-spiking in an Idaho national forest, as the fight over the Montanan’s nomination to lead the U.S. Bureau of Land Management escalated. Stone-Manning’s confirmation remains stuck in a divided U.S. Senate Energy & […]

State board proposes $50,000 grants for small-scale butchers

BY: - July 16, 2021

The state would offer grants of up to $50,000 to small-scale butchers under rules that won preliminary approval of the Iowa Economic Development Authority board Friday.  The rules, for which the board approved a “notice of intended action,” would implement House File 857, approved by lawmakers earlier this year. That legislation set up the Butchery […]

Biden nominates former Iowa Gov. Culver for federal agriculture mortgage board

BY: - July 15, 2021

President Joe Biden has nominated former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver to the board of directors for the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, also known as Farmer Mac. Culver is a Democrat who served as Iowa’s governor from 2007 to 2011. Biden touted Culver’s record as governor in announcing his nomination: “Under his leadership, Iowa successfully managed […]

The Raccoon River in the Des Moines area is among the most-polluted in the state.

After rains, D.M. Water Works suspends voluntary lawn-watering restrictions

BY: - July 15, 2021

Des Moines Water Works has suspended its call for voluntary cutbacks on lawn-watering after rains eased local drought conditions. Utility officials said the request that property owners reduce lawn watering by 25% is not needed now, but could be repeated if conditions deteriorate later. Demand had exceeded 90% of capacity during a recent period of […]

Farmers Union: Success of Biden move to add meatpacking competition depends on rules

BY: - July 15, 2021

Farmers need to push to make sure federal rules to improve competition in meatpacking don’t stall, a National Farmers Union official told Iowans Thursday.  Mike Stranz, the national organization’s vice president of advocacy, told Iowa Farmers Union members they need to push the U.S. Department of Agriculture to quickly write the rules needed to lessen the […]

Iowa attorney general, councilman push for more electric vehicles

BY: - July 15, 2021

The federal government should set pollution standards that would encourage the proliferation of electric vehicles, Iowa officials and a national physicians’ group said Thursday.  Physicians for Social Responsibility arranged a news conference featuring Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, Des Moines City Councilman Josh Mandelbaum and others. Dr. Maureen McCue, coordinator of the Iowa chapter of […]

U.S. House to vote on next week on expanding PFAS regulation, backers say

BY: - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress and Biden administration officials at a conference on Wednesday outlined how they’re attempting to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water — including an upcoming vote in the U.S. House. EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a former top environmental official in North Carolina, said the agency is currently in the process […]

Economists tell farmers to go slow on carbon trading

BY: - July 14, 2021

Iowa farmers may want to wait to sell carbon credits until after the nation’s volatile political landscape settles down, an economist told an Iowa Farm Bureau Federation online gathering Wednesday.  Farmers have been optimistic about the prospects of getting paid for plantings on their land that help sweep carbon from the atmosphere. President Joe Biden […]