skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

FirstEnergy first to abandon interim clean-energy goals for addressing climate change; the body of an 11-year-old Texas girl who disappeared on her way to school has been found in a river; and Indiana youth reported to be making progress despite challenges.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The U.S. rejects a U.N. resolution on Israel-Gaza ceasefire, but proposes a different one. Some Democrats vote against Biden to protest his policy on Gaza and a California woman is being held in Russia.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Drones over West Texas aim to improve rural healthcare, the Ogallala Aquifer, the backbone of High Plains agriculture, is slowly disappearing and federal money is headed to growers of wool and cotton.

Advocates Blast EPA Over 'Inaction' on Confinement Rules

play audio
Play

Monday, August 28, 2023   

Clean-water activists are angry over a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to sidestep action on threats to water posed by factory farms.

A group of petitioners, including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, called on the EPA six years ago to toughen regulations.

Along with dozens of other organizations, Iowa CCI petitioned the EPA in 2017 to strengthen its factory farm water pollution regulations under the Clean Water Act.

In a recent decision, the EPA announced it would form a committee to study the issue rather than impose any new regulations or require Iowa regulators to enforce existing law more strictly.

Chair of Iowa CCI's Board of Directors Barb Kalbach said the EPA's inaction creates unsafe water conditions for Iowans.

"Too dirty to swim in or fish in or whatever, have recreation in," said Kalbach. "That's mostly what we get. So, we had hoped the EPA could pressure the state of Iowa to enforce regulations."

Kalbach argued that the EPA's weak rules have left the large-scale livestock industry mostly unregulated.

Iowa produces nearly 24 million hogs a year, highest in the nation.

In its ruling, the EPA says it shares environmental concerns over the large livestock operations and agrees many may be in violation of the Clean Water Act - but stopped short of strengthening regulations and instead announced an advisory committee to further study the issue.

Kalbach called this type of inaction typical.

"My reaction was color me surprised," said Kalbach. "I have absolutely no faith that a committee will make any kind of decision or any kind of recommendation that has not been made to EPA for the last 15 years. Absolutely nothing will come out of that. "

Large-scale livestock feeding operations, also known as CAFOs, are well-known sources of water pollution in Iowa - where, left unchecked, nitrates can leach into nearby rivers, lakes and streams, making the water dangerous for both humans and wildlife.



Disclosure: Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Environmental Justice, Human Rights/Racial Justice, Rural/Farming. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The lands under consideration for the Sáttítla National Monument in the Medicine Lake Highlands are currently managed by the U.S. Forest Service. (Bob Wick)

Environment

play sound

Tribes in far northeastern California are pressing President Joe Biden to create a new national monument about 30 miles from Mount Shasta. The Pit …


Social Issues

play sound

Every state has been screening newborns for several decades, usually performing a heel-prick blood test, a hearing test and a heart check. Several …

Social Issues

play sound

Maine could become the first state in the nation to provide public funding to candidates seeking the office of district attorney. Lawmakers are …


Salmon populations have dwindled in the Northwest, hurting the orcas that rely on them for food. (Stanislav/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has decided to list Southern Resident orcas as an endangered species. With it comes guidelines for how the …

Social Issues

play sound

Student loan borrowers of all ages in Nevada and around the country have an opportunity to have their student loans canceled or the chance to receive …

Automotive manufacturer Ford estimates it will create 2,500 new American jobs through its EV production plant in Marshall. (sofirinaja/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Early voting for primaries in Michigan began this weekend. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., in a change from Democratic support, urged voters to block …

Health and Wellness

play sound

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and young people often find it hard to navigate experiences of harm…

Environment

play sound

Indiana climate leaders gathered this month to share knowledge and create strategies to address the effects of climate change. Together, they are …

 

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