During the 2014 legislative session, lawmakers approved full funding for Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) for the first time in the program’s 25 year history, but Governor Branstad line item vetoed some of that funding when he went to sign the budget.
Will lawmakers fully fund the program again this year, and what are other environmental priorities for this year’s legislature?
During this River to River interview, host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell and Ralph Rosenberg, Executive Director of the Iowa Environmental Council.
Rosenberg says that even though Iowa’s Nutrient Water Reduction Strategy addresses the need for more attention to water pollution in the state, it’s not enough. He also says that Des Moines Water Works' move to sue three counties upstream from their water treatment plan is making a statement.
“The concerns are legitimate. There are real threats to water quality across the state. There is also a need to express the sense of urgency over it. The public has been waiting to see measurable progress. The public is not looking to identify progress, and we’re not seeing that.”