Des Moines River

Des Moines River

A coalition representing environmental groups from 10 states is calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to do more clean up waterways that drain into the Mississippi River.

Susan Heathcote is with the Iowa Environmental Council, which is part of The Mississippi River Collaborative. Heathcote says the group’s waiting to see what changes President-elect Trump may make.

“We would hope that the Environmental Protection Agency will continue to be a strong agency that is an important agency for the protection of our natural resources and, in this particular case, our water quality, but we’ll have to wait and see how that shakes out,” Heathcote says. “We are concerned.”

She says recent drinking water problems in several states highlight the stakes.

“We’re hopeful,” Heathcote says. “We’re optimistic that clean water is bipartisan and we can even make progress in the changing political climate.”

The Mississippi River Collaborative released a report this week, suggesting STATE regulations are inadequate and it’s time for federal officials to force action to improve water quality. Heathcote says she’s hopeful that in 2017, legislators at the state level will find a “sustainable source” of funding for water quality projects.