DNR asks for over $1M to hire more livestock facility inspectors


Photo by shufgy, Flickr.

Over the past few weeks we’ve posted about how the Environmental Protection Agency may take over waterway protection from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

In order to avoid this takeover, the Iowa DNR is asking for $1.3M to hire 11 new livestock facility inspectors.

Listen to the full story from Iowa Public Radio here.

Turning Ethanol Waste into Animal Feed


This week’s On the Radio segment highlighted the efforts of  Iowa State University professor Hans Van Leeuwenan in turning ethanol waste into animal feed.

Check out the above video in which professor van Leeuwenan and his research assistants explain their research in detail.

Drought could hurt Christmas tree harvests down the line


Photo by proforged, Flickr.

This year’s drought was not kind to Christmas tree growers.

Many young trees that would have been ready for harvest around 2019 were destroyed by the drought.

Mature trees, including the ones for this year’s harvest, were relatively unaffected.

Listen to Iowa Public Radio’s story here.

Environmental group wants extension of feedback period for nutrient reduction proposal


Governor Branstad. Photo by Gage Skidmore, Flickr.

As mentioned last week, Governor Branstad has released a plan to reduce nutrient pollution in Iowa’s waterways.

The plan is available online, and the public has till January 4 to offer feedback on the proposal.

The Iowa Environmental Council does not think this is enough time for the public to review the 200 page nutrient reduction strategy, and is calling on the governor to extend the review beyond the busy holiday season.

Read more here.

On the Radio: ISU professor converts ethanol waste to animal feed


Photo by Todd Ehlers, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This weeks episode discusses the efforts of an Iowa State University professor in turning ethanol waste into animal feed.

An Iowa State University professor has been honored for turning waste from ethanol production into animal feed.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

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Continued drought could mean restricted water usage in Cedar Rapids


Photo by Patrick Denker, Flickr

Officials in Cedar Rapids say that if drought conditions continue into 2013, the city may be forced to impose restrictions on water use.

“We don’t know where this is going to go,” said Steve Hershner, the city’s interim utilities director. “But we want to make sure we plan for it.”

Hershner said the city’s Water Division is devising a staged drought response program that will increase restrictions as the water supply diminishes or demand spikes.

At early stages, the city would ask that residents reduce landscape watering and cut back on non-essential water use. At later stages, the city might eliminate water use except for public health and safety, and also prohibit landscape watering and vehicle washing.

Iowa remains in drought, and forecasts indicate the drought will persist into 2013.

For more information, read the full article at The Gazette.