Iowa's waters are dangerously polluted. The problem is caused by big industries (e.g. coal plants, meat processing facilities) which dump straight into our waterways toxic chemicals that cause cancer and reproductive and developmental disorders (see our 10/2009 report). Large-scale farming operations are also implicated.
The results are devastating for the health of human and natural communities across the state. The Iowa River, an important recreational resource and supplier of the Iowa City area's drinking water, has been listed as “endangered.” In Des Moines, the water works had to stop drawing drinking water from the Raccoon River in September because of the growth of pollution-fed algae.
Whether in Iowa City or Des Moines, we all are near some body of water and these waters are where we smim, fish, canoe, and indeed where many of us get our drinking water. It is imperative that we protect them.
Many Iowans know that the DNR has recently nominated certain waters in the state as “outstanding waters,” sparing them from further pollution. This process, known as the “anti-degradation” rule-making process, is required by federal law under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Yet what many Iowans may not know is that, like the Iowa River, the CWA is itself fast becoming endangered.Continue Reading...