A report from the Iowa Policy Project (IPP) is critical of the state’s current strategies to fight water pollution. I-P-P founder David Osterberg says the 2013 Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) relies heavily on voluntary conservation practices and does not require water quality monitoring to determine if nutrient pollution is actually being reduced.
Iowa’s NRS has a goal of reducing nitrogen and phosphorus discharges by 45 percent – but Osterberg notes there’s no target date to achieve these goals. In the IPP report, Osterberg outlines six changes to would bolster the NRS.
Osterberg co-authored the report with Aaron Kline, a University of Iowa graduate student.
[Here are the changes to NRS policy suggested in the IPP report:
· Assuring sufficient funding, contrary to recent vetoes by Governor Terry Branstad of funding approved by the Iowa Legislature.
· Adopting nutrient criteria standards for all Iowa waters, which would follow federal EPA guidelines for reducing nutrient loads.
· Initiating water-quality monitoring to determine whether the 45 percent goal is being met.
· Asking each farm to implement at least two conservation practices.
· Making all understand that more regulation will follow if this voluntary strategy does not work].
The entire report is online at: http://www.iowapolicyproject.org