(Lenexa, Kan., Dec. 6, 2012) - EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks and Des Moines Mayor T.M. Franklin Cownie will hold a news conference Monday, Dec. 10, to provide details about green infrastructure assistance for Des Moines, Iowa. EPA will provide design assistance from private-sector experts to help Des Moines demonstrate sustainable city planning designs that create vibrant neighborhoods with multiple social, economic, environmental, and public health benefits.

The focus of the project is a proposed streetscape plan for a one-mile segment of Sixth Avenue. The Sixth Avenue Corridor serves as the northern gateway to the city's downtown, and is an official Main Street Iowa Urban Neighborhood District and has direct access to the Des Moines River. The city plans to use the Sixth Avenue project to guide designs for other planned streetscape improvements throughout the community.

A team of designers and landscape architects that specialize in green infrastructure approaches will produce schematic designs and illustrations during a three-day design workshop that will take place in Des Moines early next year. Additionally, this project could be the testing ground for other city actions, such as changes to local codes and ordinances to better support sustainable growth and green building.

WHAT: News conference on green infrastructure assistance for Des Moines

WHEN: 10:45 a.m., Dec. 10, 2012

WHERE: City Council Chambers, City Hall, 400 Robert Ray Drive, Des Moines, Iowa 50309

WHO: EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks and Des Moines Mayor T.M. Franklin Cownie

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(Kansas City, Kan., Sept. 12, 2012) - EPA has selected Des Moines, Iowa, to receive technical assistance for green infrastructure design under its Greening America's Capitals program. The benefits for Iowa's capital city will include wider sidewalks, narrower traffic lanes, better lighting, improved bus stop shelters, permeable pavement, and rain gardens that can minimize stormwater runoff.

"This project will help revitalize an area of Des Moines that has been a focus of local investment, spurring economic and social benefits in Iowa's capital city," said Karl Brooks, regional administrator.  "We hope to inspire government and community leaders to expand this work elsewhere in Iowa."

The focus of the project is a proposed streetscape plan for a one-mile segment of Sixth Avenue. The Sixth Avenue Corridor serves as the northern gateway to the city's downtown, and is an official Main Street Iowa Urban Neighborhood District and has direct access to the Des Moines River. The city plans to use the Sixth Avenue project to guide designs for other planned streetscape improvements throughout the community.

A team of designers and landscape architects that specialize in green infrastructure approaches will produce schematic designs and illustrations during a three-day design workshop that will take place in Des Moines later this year or early next year.  Additionally, this project could be the testing ground for city actions, such as changes to local codes and ordinances to better support sustainable growth and green building.

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For more information: www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/greencapitals.htm

(Kansas City, Kan., Aug. 21, 2012) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 and Iowa Department of Natural Resources will host two public availability and informational sessions to share Muscatine air quality information and public participation opportunities Aug. 28 at the Environmental Learning Center in Discovery Park.

The event is free and open to the public.  Subject matter experts will be available to answer questions on all air quality issues including specific air pollution types, monitoring and community resources.  Materials and information will be available in English and Spanish.

WHO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

WHAT: Public Availability and Information Sessions on Muscatine Air Quality

WHERE: Environmental Learning Center, Discovery Park, 3300 Cedar St., Muscatine Iowa

WHEN: 1-3 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., Aug. 28, 2012

Each session will be identical so the public can choose the session they would like to attend.

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(Kansas City, Kan., June 27, 2012) - EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks, Iowa City Mayor Matt Hayek, and others will hold a news conference Friday, June 29 to announce a new environmental partnership between EPA and the City of Iowa City, Iowa.

EPA is providing a $60,000 urban waters grant to Iowa City for modifications to the Burlington Street Dam, which will result in water quality improvements, improved fish habitat, flood mitigation and revitalization of the Riverfront Crossings District. The funding is part of EPA's Urban Waters Program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve and benefit from urban waters and surrounding land.

EPA has worked closely with the University of Iowa and Iowa City officials to initiate numerous environmental partnerships. One of the university partnerships is related to increasing awareness about the shared value of Iowa's water resources and the impact of land use along rivers. As part of the Iowa City partnerships, EPA provided a market analysis, transit development study and plans for the Riverfront Crossings District. The plan provides a vision for redevelopment of underutilized properties with a mixture of housing, commercial and civic uses and restoration of the floodplain as a major riverfront park.

WHAT: Announcement of expansion of environmental partnerships with Iowa City

WHEN:  9 a.m., June 29, 2012 (Tour of the riverfront for news media will begin at 9:30 a.m.)

WHERE: Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory, Room 127, 300 S. Riverside Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242 (Parking is available south of the laboratory on Riverside Drive.)

WHO: EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks, Iowa City Mayor Matt Hayek, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Environmental Services Division Administrator Bill Ehm, University of Iowa Director of Hydroscience and Engineering Larry Weber, and Iowa City Chamber of Commerce Vice President Rebecca Neades

VISUALS: Iowa City officials will share project details during a tour of the riverfront highlighting Burlington Street Dam modifications for improved water quality, riverbank stabilization and fish habitat.

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Learn more about EPA's Urban Waters Program: www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/index.html

Connect with EPA Region 7 on Facebook: www.facebook.com/eparegion7

(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 20, 2012) - Officials from EPA Regions 7 and 8 today hosted a meeting with the directors of state agriculture departments of  Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.  The meeting, held at EPA's Region 7 building in Kansas City, Kan., provided a forum for dialogue on EPA programs and regulations as well as specific issues, interests and concerns of the agriculture sector.

EPA staff participants in the meeting included: Karl Brooks, Region 7 Administrator; Jim Martin, Region 8 Administrator; Josh Svaty, Region 7 Senior Adviser; Damon Frizzell, Region 7 Agricultural Adviser; Jennifer Schuller, Region 8 Agriculture Adviser; and Howard Cantor, Region 8 Deputy Administrator.

"Agricultural producers deserve credit for taking significant steps to protect the environment while finding innovative ways to feed millions," said EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks. "American farmers and ranchers have such broad impacts on everything from daily food prices to widespread environmental impacts to emerging renewable fuel technologies that EPA needs to hear the views of state agriculture directors as part of our decision making process."

EPA recognizes that agricultural producers are on the frontline of environmental stewardship and are affected by many EPA programs.  Frequent meetings with state agriculture directors are a critical way for EPA to provide outreach and receive feedback on current issues and concerns. Specific topics of today's meeting included air quality standards for particulate matter, renewable fuels, nutrient management, water quality and concentrated animal feeding operations.

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Learn more about the intersections of agriculture and the environment:  www.epa.gov/region07/priorities/agriculture/index.htm

 

Connect with EPA Region 7 on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/eparegion7

Environmental News

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

(Kansas City, Kan., Nov. 7, 2011) - EPA officials will attend the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk event at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday, Nov. 10.

 

Interview topics include regulatory updates on air and water quality programs, animal feeding operations, nutrient management and pesticides.

 

WHAT: National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention and Trade Talk

 

WHEN: 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011

 

WHO: Karl Brooks, Regional Administrator; Josh Svaty, Senior Adviser; and Kris Lancaster, Agricultural Public Affairs Specialist

 

WHERE: Booth 74, Westin Crown Center, 1 Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo.

Biographies of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Booth 70 Staff

Karl Brooks serves as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 7. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and reports directly to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. His responsibilities include supervising environmental programs in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and nine tribal nations. Brooks practiced trial and appellate law for a decade. He was elected in 1986 to the first of three terms in the Idaho Senate. Retiring from elective politics, from 1993 to 1996 he served the Idaho Conservation League as executive director and legislative liaison. Since earning his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and joining the faculty in 2000, he has taught American environmental, political, and legal history as well as environmental law and policy.

Josh Svaty is a senior adviser to the Region 7 Administrator. He is the fifth-generation of his family to farm in Ellsworth County, Kan. The Svaty farm is a diversified operation that includes wheat, milo, soybeans, corn, sunflowers, a cow/calf herd and sheep. Svaty served as the State Representative of the 108th District in Kansas for seven years. His committee assignments included the committees for Energy and Utilities, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the joint committee on Energy and Environmental Policy. Svaty later served as Secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture. In this position, he managed a $27 million budget, a 380-employee workforce and statutory duties for 17 programs. He holds a B.A. from Sterling College in Sterling, Kan.

Kris Lancaster is an EPA spokesperson responsible for agriculture, pesticides, renewable fuels, water and wetland issues. His past agricultural employment includes serving as a licensed grain inspector, agricultural adviser to the chairman of the Missouri House Agriculture Committee and to two members of Congress, a farm real estate broker, a federal crop insurance broker and a negotiator of agricultural leases for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His family owns a corn and soybean farm in Scotland County, Mo. Lancaster has 28 years of media relations experience and serves on Region 7's Agriculture and Renewable Fuels Team. He graduated from Central Missouri State University and completed an advanced sciences program at Park University.

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(Kansas City, Kan., Oct. 27, 2011) - EPA Region 7 has awarded Iowa Public Broadcasting an environmental education grant totaling $25,308. This is one of six grants being awarded to schools, universities and organizations in the Agency's four-state region to fund the development of new environmental education projects. The execution of these environmental education projects will further EPA's commitment to protecting human health and the environment.

"Educating our communities on environmental issues is crucial to creating a safe and healthy environment for children to learn and grow," said Karl Brooks, regional administrator.  "The diversity of the proposals selected shows the commitment of the people of Region 7 to producing and sustaining a healthy environment."

Iowa Public Broadcasting will use this grant to provide professional development to 100 middle school science teachers in rural areas. This project will also assist teachers with instructional skills to engage students in problem-solving learning in the classroom.  Five courses will be offered over a two-year period and will address issues of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

The Environmental Education Grant program provides seed money for new projects and assistance to advance existing projects. The projects increase public awareness of environmental issues and provide the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment.

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(Kansas City, Kan., Sept. 22, 2011) - Through Nov. 8, EPA Region 7 will accept proposals from eligible applicant schools and entities for a $150,000 environmental education grant to develop new programs promoting environmental stewardship in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska communities.

The environmental education grant program is a competitive grant program that supports EPA's efforts to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues.

Proposals for the grant should be mailed to Environmental Education Coordinator Denise Morrison, Office of Public Affairs, EPA Region 7, 901 North 5th Street, Kansas City, Kan., 66101. Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. (CDT) Nov. 8, 2011; those received after the due date will not be considered.

A solicitation notice announcing the grants program is available online at

www.epa.gov/enviroed/grants.html.  Go to the website to learn how your questions about the solicitation and the application process can be answered via email or three conference calls on Sept. 22, 27 and 30. For additional information, contact Denise Morrison at morrison.denise@epa.gov.

Environmental education grants provide funding to local education agencies, state education and environmental agencies; colleges and universities; not-for-profit organizations; and non-commercial broadcasting entities. Tribal education agencies controlled by an Indian tribe, band or nation, including schools and community colleges, may also apply.

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(Kansas City, Kan., Aug. 9, 2011) - EPA has awarded the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) $30,000 to assist with outreach, education and implementation of the Clean Air Act's Risk Management Program. All fertilizer facilities that handle, process or store more than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia are subject to EPA's chemical safety requirements. There are approximately 700 agricultural retail anhydrous ammonia facilities in Iowa.

"This grant is designed to prevent releases and protect the health and safety of area residents, and enhance communications with local emergency responders and regulated facilities," said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. "IDALS is receiving this funding to conduct on-site audits, workshops and follow-up safety assessments at agricultural retail anhydrous ammonia facilities in Iowa."

Anhydrous ammonia is generally safe provided handling, storage and maintenance procedures are followed. However, it is toxic and can be a health hazard. Inhaling anhydrous ammonia can cause lung irritation and severe respiratory injuries.

EPA Region 7 receives more accidental release reports for ammonia than for any other chemical.  In addition to releases caused by transportation accidents, human error and equipment failure, a number of releases have been caused by anhydrous ammonia thefts. Anhydrous ammonia is a key ingredient in the illegal production of methamphetamine. When stolen, the toxic gas can be unintentionally released, causing injuries to emergency responders, law enforcement personnel, the public and the criminals themselves.

Retailers were first required to be in compliance with the Risk Management Program in 1999.  EPA then started facility inspections and enforcement of the program, which includes five components: hazard assessment system, management, accident prevention, emergency response and submittal of a risk management plan.

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(Kansas City, Kan., February 8, 2011) - EPA has awarded $868,000 to the City of Clinton, Iowa, for improvements to its wastewater system. The construction project is expected to be completed by the spring of 2012.

EPA Region 7 Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said, "This is an investment in environmental protection and infrastructure that will provide long-term economic and health benefits. This grant will partially fund the construction project which is estimated to cost $3.9 million."

The construction improvements include a lift station and 17,200 feet of new sewer pipe to convey wastewater from the nearby City of Low Moor, Iowa, to the new wastewater treatment plant. This project will improve water quality which will protect community health.

EPA is working with community leaders and the public to meet the growing needs and demands of limited water resources. EPA remains committed to developing innovative and sustainable solutions for managing and financing infrastructure with public and private partners.

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