Water bill: Northey says bill is 'tremendous next step'

     Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey issued the following statement regarding final passage of SF 512, which provides nearly $300 million for water quality efforts in Iowa over the next 12 years.

   “Passage of this long-term water quality funding bill with bipartisan support is a tremendous next step as we work to continue scaling up the water quality efforts underway statewide. We have seen Iowans all across the state taking on the challenge of improving water quality and this funding will help us build on these efforts.

   “I want to thank the Governor for her strong support for this legislation and thank leadership in both the House and Senate for their commitment to this important issue. To think we have gone from no funding specifically for water quality when the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy was released in 2012 to passage of this legislation is a testament to their commitment to making water quality improvements.

   “This funding will allow the Department to expand our investment in locally led water quality projects in targeted watersheds while also giving farmers and landowners statewide a chance to try practices focused on water quality. We will continue to offer innovative new approaches, such as the first-of-its-kind crop insurance incentive program aimed at increasing acres of cover crops. We will also scale-up the investment in edge-of-field and in-field infrastructure, like wetlands, saturated buffers and bioreactors to improve water quality.

   “We are excited to continue the conversation on this important issue and are committed to working with all Iowans interested in protecting our state’s water quality.”



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