WIUM Tristates Public Radio

EPA

Courtesy Illinois Pork Producers Association

Growing up in Rushville, Carrie Johnson, the granddaughter of Schuyler County pig and dairy farmers, learned early-on the importance of agriculture to the local economy. Now an adult living and working in Rushville, Johnson says she supports the growth of local business and agriculture.

Getting Ready to Replace Lead Water Lines

May 8, 2017
T.J. Carson

Galesburg aldermen approved a contract with J.C. Dillon of Peoria for $1.7 million to do the first phase of a lead water service line replacement program. The work is scheduled to begin next month.

File: Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

After court documents unsealed Tuesday raised questions about its research methods, chemical giant Monsanto said it did not ghostwrite a 2000 study on the safety of glyphosate, the active ingredient in its flagship pesticide Roundup.

Fred Knapp for Harvest Public Media

A proposal that would jumpstart the chicken business in one Midwestern state has some residents concerned about the potential impact on the environment. They're trying to block or delay its construction.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

In a brightly-lit lab at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, workers with tweezers hunch over petri dishes scattered with sprouted sorghum seeds. Sorghum produces grain and also a sugary stalk.

(File: Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media)

U.S. energy policy that effectively promotes corn ethanol is holding back a generation of more environmentally sound fuels, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Rich Egger

The Illinois business community is lining up with farm groups in an effort to stave off some new federal water regulations. 

A new report from the USDA identifies multiple reasons why honey bees are dying off in the United States.

IL Writes New Rules for Factory Farms, CAFO's

Feb 7, 2013
www.epa.gov

The Illinois Pollution Control board is in the process of drafting new rules regulating large scale factory farms often called confined animal feeding operations or CAFO’s. An environmental group thinks the current proposals could use strengthening.

US EPA OK's Missouri Rule Change on Pollution

Jan 29, 2013
www.srjengineering.com

The US EPA has agreed to allow Missouri’s  Department of Natural Resources  to relax its rules when it comes water pollution enforcement.

Missouri has gotten the go-ahead to extend how long it gives those in violation of their water pollution permits to get into compliance.

Springfield Coal Drops Application for Mining Permit

Dec 14, 2012
Industry Mine
Marianne Morgan/InIllinoisWater.org

The company which operates the Industry Coal mine recently was found to have committed over six hundred water pollution violations. Springfield Coal also wanted to renew the mining permit for it’s mine near Industry.

The same day a press conference was to be held protesting the renewal of it’s mining permit, the company withdrew the application.

Keokuk Trying to Finish Sewer Work

Dec 10, 2012

Keokuk wants to finish some sewer work within the next few weeks.

The panelists talk about the challenges journalists face when so many public relations specialists are working to put their own spin on events.

Mayor Requesting Penalty $$$

Nov 19, 2012

Keokuk is looking to benefit from a penalty to a local company.

$4.1-Million Penalty for Roquette America

Nov 13, 2012

Roquette America must pay a $4.1-million dollar penalty to settle allegations that it dumped industrial waste into the Mississippi River and Soap Creek.

Two of Iowa’s political heavyweights spent some time in Lee County this week.  They used separate events to tout one of the state’s growing industries.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, visits Lee County at least once a year as part of his annual 99-county tour of the state.

His counterpart, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin’s, D-Iowa, visits are much more sporadic, which made their visits occurring at the same time rather unique.

SENATOR HARKIN VISITS FARM

Colchester Seeks Extension for Sewer Work

Jul 31, 2012

Colchester is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for up to eight years to complete a large-scale sewer project.

The city has two options to pay for the $4.2 million project.

If the city qualifies for loans and grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program, the project might be completed in four years.

If the project qualifies for grants through the EPA the project might take eight years. That's because the city could only apply every other year.

Colchester Changes Plans on Sewer Project

Jun 26, 2012

Colchester planned to take nearly a decade to complete a large-scale sewer replacement project with an estimated price tag of $4.2 million.

The city will now seek to complete the project in the next four years. The change is driven by the prospects for grant funding.

Mayor Danny Bice says the city counted on a combination of state and federal grants to help pay for the project. It's necessary to meet federal EPA requirements.

The city has found the funding forecast a dismal one.

Colchester will have to find $100,000 to pay for the design of a large-scale sewer upgrade. It's hoping to get some help to prevent dipping into its reserves.

The city's new budget does not have enough revenue to pay for the project.

The state turned down the city's application for a grant last year. The grant would have covered the design cost.

Mayor Danny Bice hopes the EPA will change its mind.

Another rejection would leave the city few options.

Carthage Hopes to find Landfill Solution

Apr 25, 2012

Carthage is hopeful a switch of contractors will lead to the end of its responsibility for the old municipal landfill.

Indianapolis-based American Environment will take over monitoring the site. The company was the low bidder at $43,000 per year. It will also try to find a way to bring groundwater pollution levels into compliance with federal EPA regulations

Mayor Jim Nightingale hopes the firm brings " some new ideas out there that down the road we can present them to the EPA and get us out of the landfill business.”

Bushnell hoped to avoid spending the $650,000 for catalytic converters on the engines at its power plant. Mayor Steve Russell said the city keeps the plant as a back-up and doesn't run it regularly.

However, maintaining the power plant brings in $25,000 monthly payments.

Russell said the city buys electricity from a consortium, the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency. The agency makes those payments for the city's generating capacity. One condition is that the power plant meets EPA regulations. New regulations  require the installation.

Colchester Cited for Water Quality Violations

Feb 28, 2012

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has cited Colchester for 28 violations of water quality regulations.  The violations occurred from January through August of last year. The EPA gave the city 90 days to comply.

The city has been working to solve its water woes. It has completed one phase of the project.. The next two phases will take up to 2 1/2 years and cost up to $4 million.

The panelists discuss the problems the Society of Environmental Journalists have encountered in recent years with the US EPA.

The SEJ says the federal agency asks for questions in writing ahead of time, it wants to know what kind of story the reporter is working on, and it's slow to respond to requests for information. The journalism group says the EPA rarely makes available the expert who could be most helpful with the story.