water quality

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, […]

COMMENTARY

Water quality ruling wasn’t one of the court’s finest moments

BY: - June 23, 2021

Through the long arc of history, the Iowa Supreme Court has developed a reputation for judicial courage that often puts it ahead of many other courts when crafting groundbreaking decisions before important legal concepts become widely accepted. The issues have been meaty, and controversial, especially here in the middle of America. Iowa has been a […]

Environmental, biofuels groups promise new work on issues after a mixed-bag legislative session

BY: - May 21, 2021

The just-closed session of the Legislature brought a mixture of action and punting on agricultural and environmental issues ranging from water quality to the bottle bill. Reactions were mixed. Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig hailed the 10-year extension of a key water quality program that will mean more than $300 million in continued funding for conservation […]

COMMENTARY

The population problem Iowa should discuss: Livestock and its effect on water quality

BY: - May 11, 2021

Through the years, the Iowa Legislature is the place where Iowans gather to debate the biggest issues and challenges facing our state. It has been this way for 175 years. The 2021 session is days from adjournment, but there has been precious little time spent discussing one of the thorniest problems confronting this state in […]

Tyson Food’s expansion in west Tennessee pits longtime farmers against one of the nation’s biggest protein suppliers

BY: - May 3, 2021

BEECH BLUFF, TN — Larry Blankenship and his wife, Monica, lived in a trailer on his father’s farm for more than 30 years while saving for a home of their own. They finally did in 2019, moving into a pretty one-story ranch built where their trailer used to be. But their joy was short-lived; the […]

Rain gardens to help keep governor’s yard from washing away

BY: - March 16, 2021

The front yard of the governor’s mansion, Terrace Hill, soon will get two rain gardens in a $200,000 project to fix an erosion problem near the visitors’ entrance.  Most of the money will come from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency water quality grants. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has been working on designing the two […]

Post-USDA, Northey eyes consulting on climate, water quality, conservation

BY: - March 8, 2021

Former Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey’s new career could involve consulting on some of the nation’s most pressing issues: climate change, water quality, and conservation. In January, Northey wrapped up his Trump-era stint as an undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. After he was confirmed by the Senate nearly six months after his nomination, […]

Bill would add ‘soil health’ to goals of state conservation programs

BY: - March 3, 2021

A bill that would add “soil health” as a goal of state-backed conservation projects advanced in the Legislature Wednesday. House File 646 would add the federal definition of “soil health” to the state’s code language guiding the work of soil conservation districts. The districts offer cost-share grants for improvements on farms.  The legislation, before an […]

Former Central College sustainability leader named Iowa Environmental Council director

BY: - January 13, 2021

A former leader of Central College’s sustainability efforts has been named executive director of the nonprofit Iowa Environmental Council. Brian Campbell will replace Jennifer Terry, who returned to Des Moines Water Works as external affairs manager after three years at the council. Campbell take his new position on Jan. 19. Campbell most recently served as […]

COMMENTARY

How do we build a healthy and sustainable Iowa?

BY: - December 9, 2020

Now that the contentious elections are behind us, we have difficult choices to make. The United States of America has crumbling, outdated infrastructure and an antiquated energy system. We need a massive public works project to employ 10 million people who lost jobs due to coronavirus. Rebuilding an America prepared for the threats of an […]

Second state panel approves $100 million natural resources budget

BY: - September 15, 2020

The state would increase spending on lake restorations, water trails and park improvements as part of a proposed 2021-22 budget approved by a second state panel Tuesday.  The governor-appointed Environmental Protection Commission approved the $100.1 million proposal. The budget would increase spending $2.3 million, or about 2.3%, from the current year’s budget.  The only increases […]

DNR budget calls for increases for lake restoration, water trails

BY: - September 10, 2020

The Iowa Natural Resource Commission on Thursday endorsed a mostly status quo budget  that would seek more money for lake restoration and water trails.  The Department of Management ordered the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to use the budget for the current fiscal year as a base for the 2021-22 budget proposal.  DNR complied, with […]