I have battled in the trenches as a trial lawyer for more than 35 years and so I’m sometimes asked where the areas of growth are in the legal profession. Aside from the obvious such as criminal law environmental law seems to be one area that is expanding. Here today are several recent headline stories that highlight the point. Of course this doesn’t mean you get away from the bread and butter areas of the law – after all we still have to pay the bills as we make a name for ourselves. So stick with what makes you the money to pay the light bill and then take on an environmental case or two.
Environmental group: Iowa waterways improve little after $4.4B expense
There is little evidence that Iowa has cut runoff pollution significantly since 1995, even with $4.4 billion in federal spending on agricultural programs, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported. That's the word from the Environmental Working Group, which has released a new database detailing spending on voluntary programs in which farmers use conservation techniques on their land. Nationally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has spent $29.8 billion on conservation efforts the past decade. The environmental group suggests the money would have been better spent on targeted efforts.
EPA fines Albaugh for mislabeling pesticides
Albaugh LLC has been fined $112,684 for violating federal environmental laws related to misbranding pesticides. Ankeny-based Albaugh agreed to a court settlement. The case involved a 2013 inspection of the company's facility in St. Joseph, Mo., that found 16 cases of misbranded pesticides and five cases in which ingredients didn't match the reported formulation. In one case, a pesticide contained 125 percent of the active ingredient amount listed on the label.
Another arson incident suspected on Bakken pipeline equipment
Cedar Rapids Gazette: Police are investigating another incident of suspected arson after fires appear to have been intentionally set to construction equipment working on the Bakken pipeline. Jasper County Sheriff's Office deputies responded Saturday night to a reported fire in rural Jasper County near the community of Reasnor, according to a news release today.
Sioux City not likely to oppose pipeline, mayor says
Sioux City Journal: Mayor Bob Scott told nearly three dozen Dakota Access Pipeline opponents Monday that it's unlikely the council will adopt a resolution opposing the pipeline, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have issues with it.
State to establish more permanent drug 'Take Back' sites
Gov. Terry Branstad today announced a new initiative to create more permanent year-round Prescription Take Back locations throughout Iowa to augment the biannually scheduled Take Back Days. The initial goal is to ensure each county has at least one permanent collection site by January, said Steve Lukan, director of the Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy. About 60 secure medicine disposal kiosks are already located at community pharmacies and local law enforcement centers, according to a list on the drug control office's website. Last year, 23 Iowans died from prescription opioid overdoses. Annually, more than 300 million doses of controlled prescription drugs are dispensed in Iowa. The next Take Back Day is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For a list of Take Back locations, click here.
Iowa wimps out on animal confinement rules, environmentalists complain
Des Moines Register: Environmental activists are criticizing state leaders for failing to strengthen rules overseeing livestock confinement operations to better protect Iowa and its residents, leaving loopholes that allow producers to build small pig facilities near each other to avoid oversight. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement also asked the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission to require large corporations that own animals raised by local farmers to be "held liable" for environmental fines and penalties assessed in Iowa.
Iowa Water and Land Legacy coalition expands
Cedar Rapids Gazette: The Iowa Water and Land Legacy coalition on Tuesday announced that Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie and more than a dozen other elected officials and business leaders have joined the effort to secure a sales tax increase to fund the natural resources trust fund. Cownie is one of seven mayors to join the coalition along with Ron Corbett of Cedar Rapids, Jon Kruse of Storm Lake, Bob Scott of Sioux City, Jim Erb of Charles City, John Lundell of Coralville and Ed Malloy of Fairfield.
Environmental Law - Bakken Pipeline, Iowa Waterways, Pesticides, Prescription Drugs & Animal Confinements