Air quality panel to meet in Williamsburg

Pollution Prevention Services is hosting an air quality workshop at the Clarion Inn Amana Colonies on Sept. 14.

Read more from the DNR below:

Keeping track of air quality changes can be overwhelming. This workshop will provide you the latest information on air quality standards, as well as help you identify the elements of a greenhouse gas inventory.   Continue reading

Winter weather brings risk to air quality

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Listen to this week’s radio segment about how winter weather affects air quality.

Bone-chilling temperatures, snow and ice – that’s what most Iowans expect to brave each winter. But we should be aware of another quirk of Iowa’s winters: poor air quality.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

In these cold months, you may notice more air quality warnings than normal. Continue reading

Report: Iowa lags in green transportation

Source: Smart Growth America

Transportation is the second largest and fastest-growing source of carbon, and Iowa lags behind most states in enacting policies that could save money and cut pollution, a new report from Smart Growth America has found.

The report ranked Iowa’s infrastructure policies just 40th nationwide, citing progress in just two of eight categories – bike/pedestrian master plans and pay-as-you-drive insurance.  Continue reading

Near Eddyville, Untreated Sewage Flows into Tributary

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Surely dirty, but perhaps not too dangerous.

A failed pump sent as much as 50,000 gallons into a tributary of the Des Moines River, but the Iowa DNR says it does not pose an immediate health risk, reports the Des Moines Register today.

Ottumwa residents should take heed, however. The Des Moines River supplies its drinking water, the DNR said.

Eddyville residents faced a previous sewage problem last July when heavy rains sent untreated sewage through house drains.

Poplar Science: Iowa’s Lou Licht uses trees to clean up pollution


Check out this piece from on Lou Licht and his earth-cleaning poplars.

NORTH LIBERTY – Lou Licht was once a polluter – aiding and abetting companies that spewed toxins into the air and water.

Today he could hardly be greener.

With a quick-growing, toxic-zapping tree and a patented technique, Licht cleans up the types of messes he once helped create. His professional and environmental interests are wrapped up in trees, and he hopes to apply his work in Iowa.

He’s an entrepreneur with a doctorate in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Iowa. But in some ways, Licht still is like the dairy farmer he grew up as. Only now, he grows things. His crops are poplar trees that filter fine particles and formaldehyde from the air. When planted in swales, they retain and filter water from rain, reducing storm surges and runoff in flood-prone states like Iowa. And, they can treat sewage.

“In the case of Iowa, where we are surrounded by farmland, the right 15-20 acres can do all the tertiary treatment for a town of 1,000 people,” he said.