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Recent posts by Katie Rock

2019 Iowa Legislative Priorities

In 2017, we developed an active presence on Iowa state policy, which continues today. Our priority issues include clean energy and water quality. We collaborate with coalition partners, develop relationships with key legislators, and engage Iowa supporters.

Relevant developments concerning priority legislation will be shared via email. To sign up for updates, email info@cfra.org.

What is a market-based approach to water quality?

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a joint letter to state and tribal regulators encouraging market-based, collaborative approaches to reduce excess nutrients in waterways. But, few other details were offered on how to best take this approach. Now that the EPA has released some clarifications around the Waters of the U.S. ruling, it appears new efforts could be on the horizon.

Utilities and transmission should present a unified effort on habitat conservation plans

Iowa has claimed a position as a leader in wind energy with the potential to produce 772,722 megawatts from wind according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Currently Iowa generates about 37 percent of its electricity from wind energy, ranking it third in the nation for wind energy production. While wind energy has proven to be an effective economic development tool that has been embraced by the state, it is also essential that project developers and operators take steps to avoid impacts on vulnerable animal species in the region that could be affected by wind energy systems.

Farmers face risk when adopting new practices to improve water quality

Water quality is a contentious issue across the country. For example, in Iowa, continued high nitrogen, phosphorous, bacteria, and sediment levels in surface waters threaten public health and outdoor recreation. 

In 2012, the state released a strategy to reduce nutrient and sediment loading in surface waters. However, the best plan forward remains uncertain. This lack of clarity leaves farmers feeling frustrated.

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