Job Opportunity: Council seeks Bookkeeper/Office Manager

The Iowa Environmental Council seeks a Bookkeeper/Office Manager. Ideal candidates possess relevant skill set and job experience to position responsibilities, qualifications and desirable qualities, as well as a passion for the mission of the Iowa Environmental Council.

Position responsibilities include:

• Manage office responsibilities including vendor relationships, financial accounting, postal mail, telephone, processing deposits, financial reporting, scheduling, office supplies, staff payroll and benefit records, etc.
• Accounts payable, accounts receivable, monthly journal entries and financials, payroll, benefits administration
• Develop and maintain positive relations with individual members on behalf of Council including written materials, electronic communications, and telephone calls.
• Help oversee/manage office technology including telephone, fax, copier and computer systems.
• Assist with event and meeting planning
• Other duties as assigned

Qualifications and desirable qualities:

• Required experience with Quick Books
• Required experience with databases
• Experience within office administration, and/or budget and finance field.
• Strong analytical, verbal and written communication and computer skills
• Associate or Bachelor’s degree in relevant field preferred.

For additional information about this position, including compensation, status and desired start date, visit our website.

To apply: Send resume and cover letter to rosenberg@iaenvironment.org
Please include date of earliest availability. (no phone calls)

Help Protect Iowa’s Lakes

Last summer, 150 Iowans took action and submitted comments in support of our petition that asked DNR to set standards for nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the state’s recreation lakes. This pollution, which is primarily caused by farm runoff, produces dangerous algae blooms that make our water unsafe for swimmers and pets.

DNR denied our petition, stating that standards for nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in Iowa’s lakes were “not necessary at this time.” We disagree and suspect you do, too. Good news: Iowans now have another opportunity to weigh in on DNR’s water quality priorities.

This week, DNR will begin holding public water quality meetings across the state giving Iowans the opportunity to provide input on the agency’s work plan to improve Iowa’s water quality standards. Written comments are also being accepted through October 15, 2014.

Your input is extremely important because once finalized, this work plan will determine how DNR’s limited staff resources will be utilized over the next THREE YEARS.

Attend one of the meetings or submit written comments to DNR Water Quality Standards Coordinator Rochelle Weiss by email or mail:

Rochelle.Weiss@dnr.iowa.gov

Rochelle Weiss
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
502 East Ninth St.
Des Moines, IA  50319

UPCOMING MEETINGS

Spencer
Sept. 3, 4 to 6 p.m.
Spencer Public Library (Round Room), 21 East Third St.

Washington
Sept. 4, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Washington Public Library (Nicholas Stoufer Room), 115 West Washington

West Des Moines
Sept. 8, 10 to 12 p.m.
West Des Moines Public Library (Community Room), 4000 Mills Civic Parkway

Clear Lake
Sept. 9, 4 to 6 p.m.
Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce Lakeview Room, 10 North Lakeview Drive

Independence
Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Falcon Civic Center, 1305 Fifth Ave. NE

Since 2006, Iowa DNR had recorded 114 instances of dangerous algae blooms at Iowa swimming beaches, including 22 warnings this summer alone. The worst algae bloom this summer occurred at Black Hawk Lake in Sac County where DNR posted warnings about toxic algae blooms for seven straight weeks, including Labor Day weekend.

Setting standards to limit nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that is causing frequent algae blooms in Iowa lakes is our top priority for improving Iowa’s Water Quality Standards. The problem is not going to go away until we take action to limit the pollution causing the algae blooms. Ask DNR to make setting standards for nitrogen and phosphorus pollution a priority, and protect our lakes for future generations of Iowans.

Registration now open

Registration for our 2014 Annual Conference, ENGAGE IN YOUR FUTURE: Creating a healthier, sustainable tomorrow, and our inaugural community engagement event, Pro H2O, is now open.

Pro H2O
October 8, 2014
7 p.m.
Science Center of Iowa

2014 Annual Conference
October 9, 2014
7:30 a.m. registration, 8:30 a.m. call to order
Drake University

This year’s conference, ENGAGE IN YOUR FUTURE: Creating a healthier, sustainable tomorrow, will delve into the latest developments to Invest in clean water, Expand clean energy and Confront climate change.

Keynote Speaker Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project Climate Change Communication, will kick off a day of networking and presentations sharing the latest developments and research in the environmental field. We have a great lineup this year, and will be announcing other speakers in the near future. Visit our website for additional conference information.

Discounted registration is available to Council members and students. Early bird registration is available through September 15, 2014. Join more than 200 of Iowa’s top environmental leaders and register today.

Interested in exhibiting at or sponsoring the conference? Learn more about exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities here.

Pro H2O

Since the founding of the Iowa Environmental Council nearly 20 years ago, the Council in partnership with its members, has made improving the quality of Iowa’s rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands a top priority.

From the small creeks and ponds on the farm and the edge of town where our children explore and play, to the large rivers and lakes where our families gather on the weekends to fish, swim and boat – clean water provides to our communities better quality of life and a healthier Iowa we can call home.

We invite you to make a splash with the Iowa Environmental Council. This inaugural event hosted at SCI invites you to play with your water, be wowed by the science fair, learn how you can make a difference, and ensure CLEAN WATER IN IOWA. Register today if you’re Pro H2O!

Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres from Gateway Market, a full service bar, a water-related science fair, special address by Bill Stowe, Des Moines Water Works CEO and general manager, and music entertainment provided by local musical act, MAIDS. Visit our website for additional event information.

We look forward to seeing you at these upcoming events!

DNR must be transparent and accountable in implementing CAFO rules

Next Tuesday, August 19, the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) will consider adopting rules for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). If adopted, these rules will require some confinement CAFOs that discharge manure to obtain Clean Water Act permits.  

We strongly support the full implementation of the Clean Water Act in Iowa. This includes requiring confinement CAFOs that discharge manure to obtain the permits that will be up for consideration at the EPC’s meeting next week.

However, we believe that in order for these rules to be effective, the DNR must establish clear criteria and processes for determining when a CAFO will or will not be designated as a “discharger” which must apply for a permit. It is critical that DNR provide the public with access to documentation detailing the decision making process that led to the determinations for individual facilities, as well as the ability to monitor enforcement of these permits.

Merely adopting these rules will not accomplish that.

Adoption of these rules simply affirms DNR’s responsibility to issue NPDES permits to CAFOs that discharge manure into Iowa’s waters. Without a transparent plan for implementation and enforcement, we will likely see more of the same pattern of repeated violations and increasingly polluted waters. We have formally submitted comments to DNR outlining our concerns and respectfully calling upon them to act.

The meeting, which will begin at 10 a.m. at the Wallace State Office Building Auditorium (502 E. Ninth St., Des Moines), is open to the public. Requests to speak must be submitted to Jerah Sheets at Jerah.Sheets@dnr.iowa.gov prior to the meeting or at the meeting prior to the start of public participation. Iowans that would like to submit comments but are unable to attend may do so via email, and their comments will be entered into the public record.

For more information about Tuesday’s meeting, including the full agenda, click here.

A Sunny Day for Solar in Iowa

The farm in Kalona is expected to generate enough energy to power about 120 homes.

The solar farm is expected to generate enough energy to power about 120 homes.

Farmer’s Electric Cooperative (FEC) has activated the largest solar energy project to date in Iowa – a solar farm located in Kalona – which was celebrated yesterday with an open house at the project site. Council staff, legislators, utilities, solar installers and environmental groups were in attendance to participate in what was yet another example in a recent string of exciting developments that signal that the future of solar in Iowa is bright.

At 800 kilowatts (kW), the solar photovoltaic (PV) array is almost three times the size of what is now the second largest solar project in the state, a solar field completed at Luther College in Decorah in 2013, indicating the rapid growth of  solar in Iowa. This project also puts FEC first among utilities in the U.S. for having the most solar PV installed per customer, reaffirming Iowa’s position at the forefront of renewable energy in the U.S..

What could be most important, however, is that FEC is proving that solar works when the customer, utility company or a combination of the two owns it.. FEC has been a leader in renewable energy for years, using different strategies to support customer ownership of wind and solar.

Thanks to this model, FEC’s customers have the option of installing solar on their own property and choosing renewable incentive rates (e.g., feed-in tariffs) or rebates to help offset the upfront cost of the project, greatly expanding access to solar.. Both strategies have resulted in projects owned by farmers, small businesses and residential customers in the service territory. Customers can also buy panels installed at FEC’s community solar project, the first of its kind in Iowa.

An aerial view of the impressive array.

An aerial view of the impressive array.

This new 800 kW solar project was developed jointly by FEC and the Iowa-based solar company Eagle Point Solar. All components and equipment were manufactured in the U.S, and the 4 acre construction project was aided by heavy equipment manufactured in Pella by Vermeer. Eagle Point retains ownership in the near term to take advantage of tax incentives that reduce the cost of the project, but FEC will own it for years to come – allowing the utility to meet long-term renewable energy goals earlier than anticipated.

The Council congratulates Farmer’s Electric Cooperative and Eagle Point on this important milestone, and looks forward to seeing the next largest solar project on the horizon in Iowa very soon.

Learn more about the Council’s work on solar energy.