Report: Quad Cities area ranks near last nationally in short-term particle pollution

Credit: Señor Codo, Flickr

Air quality varies across the rest of Iowa, according to American Lung Association report 

Quad Cities residents can’t quite breathe easy.

That’s because their region ranks 25th in short-term particle pollution – a phenomenon, which increases their risk of heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks and possible early death, according to a new report by the American Lung Association.

Quad Citians join nearly 61 million people across the US, who live in areas prone to unhealthy spikes in particle pollution. Continue reading

Iowa City will host renewable energy symposium this weekend

I-Renew will host a renewable energy symposium from April 28-May 1 in Iowa City.

The UI’s Iowa Memorial Union look a little greener this weekend.

From Thursday to Sunday it will play host to the 2011 Iowa Renewable Energy Association Symposium and Exposition – the only event of its kind in the state. Continue reading

Report: Climate Change will prove costly to Iowans

Credit: American Security Project report

Iowa will pay heavily – either now or later – for the effects of climate change, according to a new report from the American Security Project, a nonprofit, bipartisan research organization.

The conclusions of the Washington D.C.-based organization largely echo those found by Iowa’s Climate Change Advisory Council, which released a report to the governor earlier this year. Continue reading

EPA: Dubuque to pay fine, upgrade sewer system after Clean Water Act violations

After long-lasting violations, city to prevent future sewer overflows, make other upgrades

The City of Dubuque has agreed to pay a $205,000 civil penalty and spend an additional $3 million on improvements to its water pollution control plant and sewer collection system over the next three years to settle a series of alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act, according to an EPA news release.

As part of the settlement outlined by a consent decree lodged today in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the City of Dubuque will pay half of the civil penalty to the United States, and half to the State of Iowa, which is a co-plaintiff in the case. Continue reading

On the Radio: Windsor Heights keeps Iowa green

Winsdor Heights is going green.

Listen to this week’s radio segment on Windsor Heights and its plans for sustainability.

Just north of West Des Moines sits Windsor Heights – a small city brimming with ideas for cleaner, healthier living.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus on sustainable communities.

Windsor Heights has already turned green – its green landscaping keep its water cleaner and river levels lower. The use of high-tech lights reduces energy use across the city. Continue reading

Envirolinks: Earth Day Edition

Even Google has gotten into the Earth Day spirit.

Happy Earth Day!

Here’s a look at what state and national news organizations are reporting on this environmental holiday in its 41st year.  Continue reading

CGRER researchers develop air pollution prediction system for Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile. Photo via

Quicker predictions will help officials protect public health

In the Southern Hemisphere, the months of April, May and June mark the transition from summer to winter and usher in masses of stagnant air that often give rise to urban air pollution.

That’s why a study conducted by CGRER researchers — and published in the May issue of the journal Atmospheric Environment — that describes a system to predict periods of high air pollution is attracting attention in Santiago, Chile, a city of nearly 6 million people. Continue reading