IEPC member believed to have conflict of interests

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Could a member of the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission have a conflict of interests? That’s what the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement say, and they demand action. Brent Rastetter was appointed to a position with the IEPC in May, but he also owns a share of Quality Ag. – a confinement construction company.

The Des Moines Register reports:

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement on Tuesday filed a formal state ethics complaint claiming that a member of a state environmental rule-making panel has a conflict of interests. Continue reading

Animal waste regulations eliminated

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Iowa’s Environmental Protection Commission recently retracted permitting requirements for large-scale animal farms. These requirements used to mandate that farmers in charge of confined animal feeding operations receive a permit from the Department of Natural Resources before discharging animal waste.  The Sioux City Journal reports that this decision caused outrage among local environmentalists, including members of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI):

The ICCI representatives, several dressed in T-shirts promoting their organization, didn’t stay for the vote. “The fix is in anyway,” Goodner said as he and other members left the conference room.

Their comments before the vote included several points, not in the least that they thought the board was stacked in favor of agribusiness and hostile to environmental regulation.

Several of the speakers singled out commissioners Brent Ratsetter and Delores Mertz, saying they should rescue themselves from the vote, if not the commission entirely. Continue reading

Iowa’s polluted waterways hit record high

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The number of polluted waterways in Iowa have reached a record high, according to the 2010 draft of an upcoming DNR report.

The count was at least 572 – an increase of about 6 percent from the 2008 tally of 542 and the highest number in 14 years of record keeping, said John Olson, a DNR water quality expert. Continue reading