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Baltimore: 'Snowball's Chance' for Water Quality Legislation Compromise

State Capitol Ceiling
John Pemble / IPR file

Iowa legislators have said that addressing the state's water quality is a priority.  During this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Mary Skopec, who is executive director of Iowa's Lakeside Laboratory. She says that the problem with nutrient run-off from the state's 29 million acres of agricultural land is not the only issue to be addressed—it is a part of the problem. 

"Even if you are doing everything you can, we are going to see loss of nutrients and loss of soil. What we’re seeing is when those excessive levels of nutrients get into our lakes, the algae snack it up like it's junk food," she says. 

Also joining the program are Republican Representative Chip Baltimore from Boone, Republican Senator Ken Rozenboom from Oskaloosa, and Kerri Johannsen, lobbyist for the Iowa Environmental Council.

During the 2017 legislative session, the Iowa Senate passed Senate File 512, which is designed to address water quality. Lawmakers in the house have not yet brought that bill up for debate this session. Rozenboom says he is optimistic that there will be a compromise on the bill. Baltimore, however, is less hopeful. 

"There's a snowball's chance in hell," he says. 

Lindsey Moon served as IPR's Senior Digital Producer - Music and the Executive Producer of IPR Studio One's All Access program. Moon started as a talk show producer with Iowa Public Radio in May of 2014. She came to IPR by way of Illinois Public Media, an NPR/PBS dual licensee in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and Wisconsin Public Radio, where she worked as a producer and a general assignment reporter.
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River