Environment & Weather
Decision Issued on Iowa’s Water Quality Standards PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kirk Lancaster   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 14:33

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Nine Tribal Nations

Decision Issued on Iowa’s Water Quality Standards

(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 6, 2012) - EPA has approved the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) designated use changes for 430 water bodies and disapproved proposed changes for 89 water bodies.  Designated uses describe the achievable recreational activities and aquatic life uses for Iowa’s waters.

“Healthy watersheds provide Iowa communities with safe drinking water, recreational opportunities, environmental benefits and clean water for habitat for fish and wildlife,” said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. “EPA will continue working with the state to protect Iowa’s lakes, rivers and streams."

IDNR submitted these new and revised Iowa surface water quality standards to EPA for review and approval, as required by the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The state based its recommendations on site-specific field data gathered by IDNR in and near streams, lakes and rivers. This submission updates the use designations to determine the highest attainable use for the individual waters.

Designated recreational uses protect for activities such as swimming, fishing and canoeing; and for human consumption of aquatic life.  Aquatic life uses provide for the protection and maintenance of a healthy environment for fish and other animals.

The CWA assigns EPA the duty to oversee state-agency actions to protect water quality. In partnership with IDNR, EPA works with the public, community leaders, local and state agencies to meet the growing needs and demands of our water resources.

EPA’s Jan. 5, 2012, decision letter provides a more detailed description of EPA’s review and the basis for this action.  The decision letter is available at http://www.epa.gov/region07/news_events/legal/index.htm

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News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kenneth Asta   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 15:46

Davenport, Iowa, January 4, 2012 – Davenport Parks and Recreation will offer a “Walk with Eagles” program on January 14, 2012 at 9 am. Come and view this most majestic bird in its winter habitat. This event is free and educational for the entire family!

Meet at Credit Island Lodge to start your adventure. Bring your binoculars or borrow one from Parks and Recreation to see the eagles and other wildlife along the river. Remember to dress for the cold weather.

Statement From Governor Quinn on New Federal Rule to Limit Mercury Emissions PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 11:03

CHICAGO – December 21, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement praising a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) rule that will dramatically decrease the amount of harmful mercury released into the air:


“High levels of mercury pose serious health risks, which is why we must do everything we can to ensure clean, healthy air for generations. I would like to thank President Obama and the USEPA for their mercury and air toxics standards rule.


“In Illinois, we have seen the benefits of enacting stringent requirements for reducing mercury emissions over the last several years. As a result, thousands of pounds of harmful mercury emissions have been kept out of our air. The President’s action will protect millions of Americans from these dangerous emissions just like we have been doing in Illinois.”


This Holiday Season Sign-up for the Conservation Stewardship Program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Elisha Smith   
Friday, 23 December 2011 15:57

By Traci Bruckner, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Center for Rural Affairs

Farmers and ranchers that want to participate in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) this year have less than a month to apply at their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office. The CSP rewards farmers, ranchers, and foresters for maintaining existing conservation practices and for adopting additional practices on cropland, grassland, non-industrial private forestland and tribal lands. This program pays producers for fostering clean water, better soil management, improved habitat, energy efficiency, and other natural resource benefits.

The CSP is a continuous sign-up program that has periodic cut-off dates for ranking applications. The USDA recently announced that January 13, 2012 is the deadline for this year.  Applications can be filed at your local NRCS office (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/about/organization/regions.html). The Center for Rural Affairs is also encouraging farmers and ranchers to call the Center's Farm Bill Helpline to help us learn more about how the program and application process are working and any possible barriers farmers and ranchers may encounter during the sign-up.  Potential CSP applicants can call the Farm Bill Helpline at (402) 687-2100 or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  The Center for Rural Affairs also has a CSP fact sheet available online at http://www.cfra.org/renewrural/csp.


CSP is one of the most popular conservation programs, with many more applicants than the program can fund each year. In 2010 alone, 1,480 Iowa farmers received a CSP contract, about 62% of the total applicant pool that year. Those interested in applying should contact their local NRCS office as soon as possible to meet the deadline.


Let’s Put American’s Back to Work to Clean Up Our Ailing Water Infrastructure PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Marcia Nichols   
Monday, 19 December 2011 15:05

AFSCME & Environmental Advocates

WHO: Danny Homan President of AFSCME Council 61

Bill Gearhard, Secretary-Treasurer of Great Plaines Laborers International, President of State Building Trades Council

Matt Ohloff, Iowa Director, Food and Water Watch

Bill Stowe, Public Works Director, City of Des Moines

Jim Piazza, Executive Director of Heavy Highway and Construction Contractors Association

WHAT: The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME) and local environmental advocates applaud the candid findings of a recent report on the nation’s water infrastructure and call on the federal government to make immediate improvements to ensure public safety. According to the report, our nation’s water infrastructure is outdated, overextended and in crisis.  Not only are we failing to make the investments to meet today’s needs, we are also failing to make the investments needed to accommodate a growing population.

Nearly four million people get sick every year from swimming in contaminated water.  Twenty million people get sick each year simply from drinking contaminated water.  Forty percent of rivers and 46 percent of lakes in America are too polluted for fishing, swimming or even aquatic life.

President Obama’s jobs bill, the American Jobs Act, would be a start at tackling the water infrastructure gap.  While more investment will be needed, this bill is an important step in the right direction.  We call on all members of Congress to support the American Jobs Act so that we can put people to work and make our communities and our people healthier and safer.

WHERE: Des Moines Water Works Filter Building, Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA

DATE: Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 14, 2011

TIME: 10:30 AM

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