Ag + Environment

State panel stands by controversial livestock pollution scoring system

BY: - April 22, 2020

A governor-appointed panel charged with protecting Iowans from health-threatening pollution has decided not to push for changes in livestock rules. Critics say the rules are a “joke” and don’t protect the public. A majority of members of the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission said they don’t want to ask for changes in the scorecard used by […]

Waterloo Tyson plant to shut down after COVID outbreak

BY: - April 22, 2020

Tyson Fresh Meats in Waterloo announced Wednesday it was suspending operations indefinitely at the plant due to an outbreak of COVID-19. The plant, which employs 2,800 people, has been running at reduced levels of production due to worker absenteeism, a Tyson news release said. It will stop production this week “until further notice.” More than […]

State panel approves plan to fight erosion at governor’s mansion

BY: - April 21, 2020

The governor-appointed Iowa Environmental Protection Commission on Tuesday approved state agencies’ plan to design a garden for the governor’s mansion grounds to fight erosion. State workers had noticed that water running off parking areas and the roof of the mansion, known as Terrace Hill, were starting to erode an area in the front yard of […]

Iowa eyes new garden to fight erosion at governor’s mansion

BY: - April 20, 2020

Iowa state government’s campaign to cut erosion on state properties, already underway at the Capitol, may be heading to the governor’s mansion, Terrace Hill. The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission on Tuesday will consider a $40,000 plan to design and engineer an enhanced rain garden right outside the main visitor entrance of the mansion along Grand […]

Reynolds: No plans to order shutdowns at meat plants

BY: - April 20, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds said meatpacking plants will remain “essential” businesses because of the country’s reliance on Iowa’s pork supply, despite multiple outbreaks reported at facilities. Out of the 389 total positive COVID-19 cases reported Sunday, 261 of those stemmed from testing at Iowa’s meatpacking facilities, according to the governor’s office.  There have been a total […]


Why is Reynolds trusting meatpackers with COVID mitigation?

BY: - April 20, 2020

It was snowing on Thursday, the day Gov. Kim Reynolds was trying to assure Iowans that the management of a giant meatpacking company had it all under control. “You know, I think employers are doing the right thing and they need to continue to do the right thing,” she said Thursday.  Company officials at Tyson […]

More than 260 meatpacking workers test positive for COVID-19

BY: - April 19, 2020

More than 260 people were found to be positive for COVID-19 in expanded surveillance testing related to meatpacking plant outbreaks, the state reported Sunday. The positives from meatpacking employees made up 67% of the 389 total positive cases reported in Iowa Sunday.  Iowa has recorded a total of 2,902 positive cases to date. Gov. Kim […]

Black Hawk officials call on Tyson to temporarily close Waterloo plant

BY: - April 17, 2020

Elected officials in Black Hawk County called on Tyson Foods Friday to voluntarily close its Waterloo plant temporarily to avoid further spread of COVID-19 among workers and the community. Black Hawk County Supervisor Chris Schwartz, wearing a face mask, read a letter at a news conference calling for the plant closure to allow time for […]

Reynolds: State will test 2,700 at Waterloo Tyson plant

BY: - April 17, 2020

Amid COVID-19 outbreaks at meatpacking plants in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Friday that 2,700 COVID-19 tests were being sent to the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Waterloo. She said the State Hygienics Lab would process the tests over the weekend. On Thursday, Reynolds said company officials had reported there were no outbreaks at the […]

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Iowa biofuels rep: Oil states’ move to sidestep ethanol mandates ‘galactically stupid’

BY: - April 16, 2020

The head of Iowa’s biofuels association on Thursday called five oil states’ attempt to get the federal government to suspend ethanol supports “galactically stupid” and “pathetic.” The fight is the latest between two of the nation’s most powerful lobbies: agriculture and oil. And it comes after a string of court challenges over a federal law […]

Ainsworth, Ia., pipe blockage leads to sewage spill

BY: - April 15, 2020

A spill in Ainsworth in southeast Iowa’s Washington County about 8 a.m. Wednesday sent 1,000 gallons of sewage per hour into the North Branch of Long Creek. The leak was found about 6 p.m. Tuesday. A contractor removed paper and wipes from the sewer line and the sewage discharge stopped about 10 a.m. Wednesday. The […]

Tyson Foods plant will receive 900 COVID-19 tests amid outbreak

BY: - April 15, 2020

Following the spread of COVID-19 at Iowa’s meatpacking plants, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the state is sending 900 tests to a Tyson Foods plant in southeast Iowa with plans to trace the movement of employees who have tested positive for the virus so far. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported a surge of 189 […]