Saturday, July 2, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Could Iowa Clean Water Rule Changes Increase Pollution?


Thursday, August 11, 2016   

DES MOINES, Iowa – In an emergency vote on Wednesday, the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission unanimously approved changes to the state's clean water standards.

Before this decision, the Department of Natural Resources made sure any projects seeking permits to increase pollution to a waterway would have considered less-polluting alternatives.

Susan Heathcote, Water Program director for the Iowa Environmental Council, says now, those alternatives can more easily be avoided.

"The environmental benefits will no longer need to be considered, and the decision will be made based on costs alone," she states.

The amended guidelines go into effect on Friday.

Heathcote says that kind of quick turnaround on a decision like this is unusual.

"Because these are adopted 'emergency,' they will be effective immediately,” she points out. “So, they will start implementing them, which we consider that to be a little bit problematic."

Heathcote says because the previous standards incorporated input from environmental, business, industry and utility groups, they did a good job balancing economic and environmental concerns.

And, although the standards have suddenly been ruled out, she says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could change them back.

"We're hoping that they're going to actually disapprove these rule changes,” she states. “We've looked at the requirements under the federal regulations for anti-degradation implementation procedures, and we don't think this is in compliance with the federal requirement."

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to make a ruling in the next 60 to 90 days.

get more stories like this via email

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021