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Legislative and Policy Action Alerts 


Tell the White House Council on Environmental Quality to withdraw NEPA rollbacks

added 3/9/2020

The White House Council on Environmental Quality is proposing changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This bedrock environmental law requires the government to engage in a review process and search for any potential public health or environmental impacts before embarking on a project.

The law was built on decades of activism from people who wanted a say in decisions affecting their health, their lives, their communities, and their environment.

This proposed regulation would restrict the types of projects reviewed, let companies that stand to profit from development a project to conduct the environmental review of that project, and allow agencies ignore input from the public. 

A rollback of these laws could put public and environmental health at risk. Join IEC members to take action today and tell the White House Council on Environmental Quality to withdraw its proposed rollbacks on NEPA.

IEC has prepared draft comments you can submit as-is or edit as you see fit. Follow the link below to submit comments directly to the White House Council on Environmental Quality through the regulations.gov portal. Comments are due by Tuesday, March 10.


Tell Legislators to Take Action on Invest in Iowa Act

added 3/5/2020

Governor Reynolds' Invest in Iowa Act includes funding the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, providing sustainable funding to improve and protect Iowa's treasured natural resources for all Iowans. 

Though the Iowa Environmental Council is currently registered as 'Undecided' on SSB 3116, the Council recognizes the incredible opportunity for natural resources funding this bill provides. The Council has recommended language changes that, if made, would make this landmark legislation that IEC would be proud to support. 

IEC wants the opportunity to discuss and negotiate these changes, and for that, the bill must remain active and be considered by legislators. 

Take action now and contact the members of the subcommittee assigned to SSB 3116, the Invest in Iowa Act, and encourage them to give this bill the attention it deserves. 


Tell Legislators to Support Renter Access to Energy Costs

added 2/11/2020

Energy efficiency is crucial for Iowa’s clean energy transition. But it is also a pocketbook issue for many in the state. 

The Iowa Environmental Council is supportive of House Study Bill 635, a piece of legislation that would require landlords of apartments with 12 or more units to disclose average utility costs to a prospective tenant before they sign a lease. 

This pro-consumer transparency bill will give renters information about the true and total costs of a particular rental property. Apartments with the lowest rental costs can often have the highest utility costs, including energy costs. Iowa’s low- to middle-income families will benefit most from this disclosure.

Requiring landlords to disclose this information will help create a market for more efficient rental units. With units that have lower utility costs increasing in demand, more landlords will be incentivized to make building upgrades that reduce energy waste and save renters on utility costs. 

HSB 635 will better inform Iowa’s tenants, reduce energy waste and costs, and help spur building upgrades that benefit local economies. 

Take action now and ask members of the HSB 635 subcommittee to support this important bill. 


Submit Comments on the 2018 Impaired Waters List by December 28

Updated 12/20/2019

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources released the draft 2018 303(d) Impaired Waters List for the state of Iowa on Thursday, November 14, 2019. The list is comprised of lakes, wetlands, streams, and rivers that do not meet all state water quality standards. Review of the list reveals that of the waters tested by IDNR staff for the 2018 report, more than half (54%) are impaired for a variety of reasons such as indicator bacteria, turbidity (soil in the water), pH, and algae.

The 2018 report lists 767 total waterbodies assessed with 1,110 impairments. The 2016 report listed 750 waterbodies with 1,096 impairments. Of the 43 new segments that were assessed, 34 (or 79%) were listed as impaired. Those remaining on the list are carryovers from previous reports. Few waters were removed from the list for TMDL completion or water improvements.

The DNR is accepting public comments on the draft list now through December 28, 2019. Following the end of the public comment period, the draft list will be modified based on the comments received, and the revised list will be forwarded to U.S. EPA for their review and approval or disapproval.

IEC has submitted comments to the DNR. IEC's assessment calls out the high proportion of assessed waters that are impaired, that a high proportion of state public beaches are on the impaired waters list, that the DNR has not addressed the EPA's recently updated microcystin recommendation, and the impacts of the significantly delayed release of the 2018 list (expected before April 2018 but released in November 2019).

You are encouraged to submit comments to the DNR for their consideration. You can do this in several ways:

  • review IEC's official comments submitted to the DNR and submit your own copy;
  • view the DNR's interactive map to identify an impaired water body (red or yellow) near your home, work, or vacation spot and write a general message highlighting how you use the water and that you'd like them to address and correct the impairment in a timely fashion; or
  • draft comments related to:
    • overall takeaways
    • data accuracy
    • the process by which the DNR creates the list
    • actions the DNR should take in response to the list
    • specific water quality standards used to assess the waters

Please e-mail comments by December 28, 2019, to Dan Kendall at the following address: daniel.kendall@dnr.iowa.gov

Comments can also be mailed by December 28, 2019 to:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Attention: Dan Kendall
Water Quality Monitoring & Assessment Section
Wallace State Office Building
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319


Tell Representative Finkenauer and Representative Axne to support Iowa's clean energy economy

added 12/5/2019

As the end of the year approaches, Congress is considering action on a set of clean energy tax incentives. Federal policymakers’ decisions in the next few months will either accelerate or stall progress to deploy clean energy solutions needed to tackle the climate crisis.

Speaker Pelosi will play a key role in the fate of this legislation. If you live in the 1st or 3rd District, now is the time to ask your representatives to tell Speaker Pelosi to move this legislation forward. Contact Representative Abby Finkenauer or Representative Cindy Axne and ask them to please consider:

  • Extending the existing Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar, wind, and the other covered clean energy technologies through 2024. The ITC has helped to create almost 1,000 jobs in Iowa and a solar supply chain including 100 businesses across the state. There is solar in every Iowa county helping farmers and small businesses reduce fixed costs and prosper.
  • Expanding the 30 percent ITC to apply to batteries and electricity storage systems. Energy storage helps integrate more renewable energy onto our electric grid and increases grid reliability and resiliency. Building out storage will maximize the productivity of Iowa’s existing wind and growing solar resources.  
  • Extending and modifying tax incentives for energy efficiency, which save residential consumers and businesses money and reduce harmful air pollution. The Section 179D deduction for energy efficient commercial and multifamily buildings has expired and should be extended. The 25C incentive for homeowner efficiency improvements and Section 45L incentive for energy efficient new homes are outdated and should be modified to reflect new technologies and market conditions.

Decisions on these tax items will likely happen before December 20, 2019. Please CALL Representative Finkenauer at (202) 225-2911 or Representative Axne at (202) 225-5476 and leave a message or use the buttons below to send an email with your comments in support of these extensions.

Discussions and negotiations on these clean energy multiplier policies are happening as we speak – don’t hesitate. Contact Representative Finkenauer or Representative Axne today and ask them to take action to support Iowa’s clean energy economy!



Tell Senator Grassley to support Iowa's clean energy economy

added 11/21/2019

As the end of the year approaches, Congress is considering action on a set of clean energy tax incentives. Federal policymakers’ decisions in the next few months will either accelerate or stall progress to deploy clean energy solutions needed to tackle the climate crisis.

Senator Grassley, as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, will play a key role in the fate of this legislation. As someone who cares about stopping climate pollution and supporting clean energy, we are asking you to TAKE ACTION. Contact Senator Grassley and ask him to please consider:

  • Extending the existing Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar, wind, and the other covered clean energy technologies through 2024. The ITC has helped to create almost 1,000 jobs in Iowa and a solar supply chain including 100 businesses across the state. There is solar in every Iowa county helping farmers and small businesses reduce fixed costs and prosper.
  • Expanding the 30 percent ITC to apply to batteries and electricity storage systems. Energy storage helps integrate more renewable energy onto our electric grid and increases grid reliability and resiliency. Building out storage will maximize the productivity of Iowa’s existing wind and growing solar resources.  
  • Extending and modifying tax incentives for energy efficiency, which save residential consumers and businesses money and reduce harmful air pollution. The Section 179D deduction for energy efficient commercial and multifamily buildings has expired and should be extended. The 25C incentive for homeowner efficiency improvements and Section 45L incentive for energy efficient new homes are outdated and should be modified to reflect new technologies and market conditions.

Decisions on these tax items will likely happen before December 20, 2019. Please CALL Senator Grassley at (202) 224–3744 and leave a message or click here to send an email with your comments in support of these extensions.

Discussions and negotiations on these clean energy multiplier policies are happening as we speak – don’t hesitate. Contact Senator Grassley today and ask him to take action to support Iowa’s clean energy economy!