Andrew Rehn of the Prairie Rivers Network presents the report 'Cap and Run: Toxic Coal Ash Left Behind by Big Polluters Threatens Illinois Water' at a news conference at the Illinois state capitol building in Springfield

Report shows toxic contamination at coal ash sites throughout Illinois

A new report published by several state environmental groups shows severe pollution of groundwater at nearly every known coal ash storage site in Illinois.

The report states that groundwater tests show unsafe levels of toxic chemicals and heavy metals at 22 of 24 Illinois coal-fired power plants. The tests were done by the companies that own the sites, collated by the environmental groups, and released this week.

When workers are killed on small farms, OSHA’s hands are tied

Over the last four decades, many hundreds of employees have been killed or seriously injured without follow-up investigations by OSHA because small farms are exempt from agency scrutiny.
What’s more, because the exemption applies to all OSHA activities, agency inspectors also are barred from checking for hazards before injuries or deaths occur, and from responding to employee complaints about unsafe conditions.

High-Grade Cropland Gives Way To Urban Growth In Iowa – At Least Where There’s Growth

Urban expansion, at least in the few areas where Iowa cities are growing, is eating up some of the state’s best farmland. In Ankeny, a central Iowa suburb of Des Moines that a May U.S. Census Bureau report ranked as the nation’s fourth fastest-growing large city from July 2016 to July 2017, much of the land being developed for housing is high quality soil for raising crops, an Iowa State University agronomy department survey shows.

Opinion: California Prop 12 could reshape nation’s commerce of eggs, veal and pork

I expect an increase in retail prices for pork, veal and eggs until enough farmers in California change animal housing systems.  The big question is whether the courts will require that out-of-state ag-giants comply with Prop 12 in order to trade with California ... and if so, what will the Smithfield Foods of the world do?