Iowa deserves to be more than just a feedlot between two rivers

photo: promotion for 'Stop Factory Farms' event

In December, U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey introduced a historic new vision for agriculture and food in the United States. The Farm System Reform Act would overhaul our unsustainable food and agriculture model and strengthen the Packers & Stockyards Act to give independent family farmers a fighting chance against monopolistic, corporate integrators. It restores mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, so consumers know where their food is coming from.… [more…]

Nitrates Before and After: This is what happened

Photo: confluence of rivers with nitrogen loads - This is what happened

Many people are curious about Iowa stream nitrate before modern agriculture became established across the landscape. They want to know what the “natural” level of nitrate was. It turns out we do have some actual data. In 1955, the Iowa Geological Survey published a document titled “Water-Supply Bulletin No. 5, Quality of Surface Waters of Iowa, 1886-1954” (1). Some of these data are shown below (as nitrogen).

Confluence of the … [more…]

Analysis of state report finds Iowa is centuries behind in water quality goals

Analysis of state report finds Iowa is centuries behind in water quality goals

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – In 2013 the state formed a “Nutrient Reduction Strategy” in response to the Gulf Hypoxia Task Force asking Midwest states to reduce the number of nutrients running off into the Gulf of Mexico by 45% by 2035.

The Iowa Environmental Council took the annual report and broke it down finding the state to be centuries behind where it needs to be to fulfill the goals. … [more…]

Upper Mississippi is ‘endangered,’ group says |

photo: Mississippi River at flood stage in the Quad Cities, Iowa

Photo: The nonprofit environmental group American Rivers has named the Upper Mississippi River to its 2019 list of top 10 most endangered rivers because of increasing flooding due to climate change and because of illegal raising of levees south of Muscatine that are making flooding downstream that much worse. This is Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport earlier this month.

The nonprofit group American Rivers has named the Upper … [more…]

US EPA sweeps Iowa’s water crisis under the rug

photo: US Environmental Protection Agency sweeps Iowa’s water crisis under the rug

Image Credit: Food and Water Watch

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied a Clean Water Act “de-delegation petition,” which has been under consideration for more than 11 years. Iowans and environmental advocates say that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is neglecting its duties.

“EPA’s petition denial is a whitewashing of Iowa’s ongoing failure to regulate factory farms,” says Tarah Heinzen, Senior Staff Attorney at Food … [more…]