Ag + Environment

Vilsack: Biden administration is ‘protecting animal agriculture’ with methane reduction plans

BY: - November 5, 2021

Reducing the number of livestock will not be a priority for the Biden administration as it seeks to drastically cut methane emissions to stem climate change, according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Instead, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “climate smart” initiatives will focus on new types of animal feed and manure management. “There […]

Wet October lifts drought from much of Iowa

BY: - November 5, 2021

Severe drought was vanquished from all parts of Iowa for the first time in more than a year thanks to widespread rainfall last month that made it one of the wettest Octobers on record. An average of about 5 inches of rain fell across the state, according to a water summary update from the Iowa […]

Review of Iowa drinking water finds dozens of contaminants

BY: - November 4, 2021

There is widespread, problematic contamination of municipal tap water in Iowa, according to an environmental group that has adopted stringent standards for water safety. Most Iowa municipal water systems are in compliance with federal regulations, however. The Environmental Working Group, based in Washington, D.C., released its latest review of water utilities this week. It concluded […]

ARL evacuates over 500 dogs from Iowa puppy mills

BY: - November 4, 2021

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa and other organizations have rescued over 500 dogs from Iowa puppy mill owner Daniel Gingerich. ARL officials said it was their largest rescue and the dogs are being treated and prepared for adoption.  “All dogs are now safe, are being brought to health, and have been given a second […]

Sports leagues pledge to cut climate-fueling emissions by half this decade

BY: - November 3, 2021

The National Basketball Association, professional baseball, hockey and soccer teams, international motor sports, tennis pros, surfers, runners and wrestlers are accelerating their campaign to fight climate change. At events Tuesday and Wednesday at the COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, universities, professional and amateur leagues from across the world announced new or intensified pledges […]

Polk voters approve $65 million for water, parks

BY: - November 3, 2021

About 81% of voters supported the second Polk County Water & Land Legacy Bond on Tuesday, which will allow the county to borrow up to $65 million for parks, trails and water projects. That exceeded the support for a similar referendum in 2012, when about 72% of the vote was “yes” for a $50 million […]

Conservation officials work to protect river after train derailment

BY: - November 3, 2021

State conservation officials are weighing their options for the environmental cleanup of a recent train derailment near Carlisle. A Union Pacific train derailed east of town on Friday, and one of its railcars that contained plastic pellets went into the Middle River, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. A hazardous materials team placed […]

U.S. Senate committee advances nomination for National Park Service director

BY: - November 2, 2021

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a voice vote Tuesday approved Charles F. Sams III’s nomination to lead the National Park Service. Sams, an Oregonian who would be the first enrolled tribal member to be NPS director, won the support of several Republicans on the committee. Ranking Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming […]

COMMENTARY

The Gingerich dogs make the case for puppy mill reform

BY: - November 2, 2021

The horrifying case of Daniel Gingerich, a Wayne County breeder on whose multiple properties hundreds of dogs were found in deplorable conditions —injured, ill, emaciated or dead — has many Iowans wondering how such a thing could have happened. He was, after all, a U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed breeder. It’s hard to picture 1,000 dogs. […]

Biden to outline major methane reduction strategy at UN climate conference

BY: - November 2, 2021

The Biden administration plans to release a comprehensive methane reduction plan as part of the president’s participation in the United Nations climate summit, administration officials said Monday. In addition to a comprehensive White House plan, several executive agencies will take action on methane, administration officials told reporters on a background call. The officials said the […]

Company to pay $270,000 for ‘largest mussel kill in the state’

BY: - November 1, 2021

A large agricultural company will pay nearly $270,000 in fines and restoration fees for its June 2020 fertilizer spill that killed hundreds of fish and clams in a Dubuque pond near the Mississippi River, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The majority of that money will be used to replenish the mussel populations […]

Puppy mill owner agrees to a permanent ban on breeding, selling dogs

BY: - November 1, 2021

A Wayne County puppy mill operator has agreed to surrender his remaining 513 dogs and could soon be permanently barred from engaging in any federally licensed animal-welfare activities. Court records indicate Daniel Gingerich of Maple Hill Puppies and lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice have reached a formal agreement on how to resolve a […]