Iowa agrees with EPA to boost farm inspections
DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa officials will inspect more livestock farms and strictly enforce penalties when manure leaks into rivers or streams under a federal agreement signed Wednesday stemming from a yearslong dispute about enforcing the U.S. Clean Water Act.
The agreement comes about a year after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency threatened to take over enforcement of the federal law in Iowa if state officials didn’t do a better job. The dispute stemmed back years and centered on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ refusal to regularly inspect the state’s thousands of large cattle and hog farms.
“Iowa is one of the world’s most productive centers for the meat that feeds this nation and the world, and it also happens to be in the middle of the two great river basins in North America,” said Karl Brooks, the EPA regional administrator. “That’s why it’s really important that Iowa get a first-class water permit program that really matches its role in the center of the United States and this gets Iowa there.”
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