Policy Plate: Reaction to EWG’s Murky Waters Report
Conservation experts and Iowa state officials continue to weigh in on EWG’s Murky Waters report. The analysis underscores the most serious flaw of the federal Clean Water Act: it does little or nothing to address agricultural pollution.
Cedar Rapids Gazette reports:
The critique of voluntary conservation comes just weeks after state leaders announced the Iowa Nutrient Management Strategy, which is intended through voluntary conservation practices to greatly reduce nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer washed into state waters from farm fields.
“I can’t see how a voluntary program would yield the necessary amount of change in the way we farm,” said Susan Heathcote, water programs coordinator for the Iowa Environmental Council…
…[Rick Robison, environmental policy advisor for the Iowa Farm Bureau] cautioned that controlling runoff from non-point pollution sources such as farm fields is limited by available funding, weather, soil types and tillage practices.
Iowa farmers are becoming increasingly aware, he said, that if they can’t make voluntary conservation practices work, they will likely face legislation or regulation through the courts.
Increased public demand for clean water will put additional pressure on everyone to make the strategy succeed, said Kevin Baskins, spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources, which also helped develop the strategy.
Congressional leaders trying to reconcile House and Senate versions of a new farm bill are in a”quaqmire,” writes Politico’s David Rogers.
Tom Philpott highlights the water quality impacts of food and farm production in Mother Jones.
The Chicago Tribune publishes a piece by Psychology Today Magazine that gives consumers tips on how to reduce exposure to pesticides on produce.
The Hill has more on EWG’s new executive director.
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