A new report from the Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy organization, indicates that more than 1,700 water districts across the U.S. recorded nitrate levels that averaged 5 ppm or more in 2014-2015. The vast majority — 1,683 of the water districts — were rural systems serving no more than 25,000 people and generally located in farming areas where fertilizer and manure in cropland runoff can seep into the public water supply. Included in those rural districts were 118 systems that matched or exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s limit of 10 ppm.
More than a dozen state attorneys general and one governor have asked recently confirmed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to scale back on federal involvement in favor of more state control.
Many Iowans may not know what is in their water because their wells’ water quality is unregulated. Moreover, many well owners IowaWatch spoke with during an investigation this past year in counties across southwest Iowa said they largely were unconcerned about their wells, even though tests revealed high levels of nitrates and bacteria in some of their wells.
ByJelter Meers and Johnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
An ethanol spill occurs every two days on average in the Midwest, the worst of which result in contamination of water supplies, major fish kills, loss of life and millions of dollars of damage. The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that as production and transportation of ethanol has risen dramatically in the region over the past three decades, so have ethanol spills.
Without “ambitious action” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, long-term effects of climate change will likely cost the U.S. government and American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars per year, a federal report released earlier this month has found.
Agriculture giant Cargill Inc. is among four major Minnesota businesses that contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to politicians who say climate change is a hoax or exaggerated, a new report from Minnesota Public Radio has found.