In the Des Moines Register's series on the dead zone in the Gulf, corporate agriculture apologists repeated their excuses for not addressing agriculture's major role in the pollution causing that dead zone.
According to apologists, most erosion and pollution from Iowa may not really be from the 30 million acres of farmland in Iowa. That pollution might be from a few hundred golf courses, some urban lawns and regulated wastewater treatment plants.
We also heard that regulations don't work in agriculture, and that farmers should be allowed to pollute because they feed the world. Further, we were told farmers are conservationists who already work to limit runoff, erosion and pollution.
Pollution from wastewater plants (point source pollution) has actually declined due to ever more stringent regulations. Meanwhile, the waters of Iowa and the Gulf continue to become more polluted with each passing year due to non-point source pollution from ag. Understanding this phenomenon, the EPA directed states to come up with strategies to reduce that pollution.
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