After the Environmental Working Group, a national public interest organization, released a new report suggesting efforts to improve water quality in Iowa have not produced results over the last decade, Ralph Rosenberg, executive director of the Iowa Environmental Council released this statement:
“The Environmental Working Group’s new report uses state data to make a point many Iowans already understand—our state’s water quality is poor and not getting better. Yet now, state agencies have released a new water pollution control (“nutrient reduction”) strategy that focuses on continuing the very same policies that have not produced results.
“The new strategy calls for new mandatory pollution control efforts by cities, even though they are responsible for only a small fraction of Iowa’s most worrisome pollution—excessive nitrogen and phosphorous.
“Conservation efforts by Iowa’s farmers will be much more important to making sustainable progress on clean water for Iowa. The new strategy makes clear that many more farmers need to take part in conservation programs, but its plan for boosting all-voluntary participation is vague and not different from what is happening now. Hoping an old approach will suddenly produce better results is unwise, and I think most Iowans recognize that.
“EWG’s new report shows our state is not doing enough to clean up its own waters. Iowans expect the state’s plan for cleaning this pollution up to include real accountability for those who cause pollution problems and to produce visibly cleaner Iowa lakes and rivers.”
The Iowa Environmental Council has posted additional information about Iowa’s new nutrient strategy on its website, including an article detailing the Council’s initial response to the strategy’s release.