Federal officials have reviewed Iowa’s efforts to clean-up rivers and lakes, and are backing off their threat to start regulating Iowa farmers. The E-P-A labeled 157 rivers as “impaired” due to contamination from silt and chemicals. The state has taken steps to monitor the waterways, and converting thousands of riverbank acres to grassy “buffer strips”Governor Tom Vilsack says in the program’s first month, six thousand acres of farmland was converted to buffer strips. It’s keeping almost two million cubic yards of silt out of the state’s rivers.Vilsack will host a meeting in Washington, D-C next month to tout ways government can collaborate with private individuals to clean up waterways.
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