Environmental group: Target U.S. aid at most polluted waters in Iowa

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Des Moines Register, Philip Brasher

Published May 29, 2009

Government conservation money in Iowa should be targeted to farms in areas that pollute the Mississippi River basin and cause a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental group says.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation said that there already isn't enough money to go around to meet the demand and that the proposal could siphon funds from other farmers.

Ninety percent of the money that Iowa gets each year through the USDA's Environmental Quality Incentives Program is divided among counties, rather than targeted at the most polluted areas, according to a report by the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy organization. The group called for devoting 60 percent of the money by 2012 to cleanup projects in the most impaired watersheds, or drainage areas.


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