Iowa’s Air Pollution Problem

According to this EPA air quality map, every county in Iowa has poor air quality. Red counties are the worst.

Letter to the editor of the Storm Lake Times

When it comes to Iowa’s water quality problems, the elephant in the room is the multinational pork industry. Iowa’s roughly 24 million hogs produce 260 million gallons of feces and urine EVERY DAY. Is it any wonder that most of our water is polluted with animal “waste”?

By not holding the pork industry accountable, the Republican leadership in Iowa has passed the cost of cleaning up our water onto taxpayers.

Exit polls from the November election (commissioned November 6 and 7 by Public Policy Polling) are telling, the Iowa GOP needs to be listening:

1. Iowans believe in being part of their community (i.e. local control).

2. Polling showed a whopping 73% of Iowans want the governor and legislature to act on reducing farm pollution runoff.

3. 66% of voters indicated they would prefer funding education, infrastructure and clean water rather than getting a decrease in their taxes.

It’s clear that Iowan’s want clean water, but the polluters should pay to clean it up.

Now that you’ve all voted, it is not the time to sit back and relax. Now is the time to contact your elected officials to tell them to act on cleaning up our state. There is no down time in democracy.

Pat Bowen
Iowa City
Iowa CCI Member


The public can make verbal or written comments about proposed air quality rules at a public hearing at 1 p.m., Jan. 22, in the DNR’s fourth floor conference room, 502 E. Ninth St in Des Moines.

You may also send written comments on the proposed changes to Christine Paulson, Iowa DNR, 502 E. Ninth St., Des Moines, IA 50319; by email to; or by fax to or calling 515-725-9501. DNR must receive comments by Jan. 22.

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3 Responses to Iowa’s Air Pollution Problem

  1. Monte Asbury says:

    Trish, can you source the EPA map for me? I had a request from a hog farmer for it. Thanks!


    • Monte Asbury says:

      Found it! For any who are interested: Follow the link for air quality to look at methodology, including: “Under the fundamental issue of air quality, Creative Methods offers the US Air Quality Gradebook. Maps and gradesheets present a composite view of air quality for US counties. The concise presentations summarize ten Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) measures of ambient criteria air pollutant concentrations, and eleven EPA measures of pollutant emissions. They also show summary county grades based on the individual measurements.”

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