EPA regional administrator to talk about water quality issues at Iowa State March 5

AMES, Iowa -- Karl Brooks, regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency's Region 7, will speak at Iowa State University about one of the nation's biggest water quality challenges: nonpoint source pollution.

"Private Lands and Public Priorities: EPA, Iowa Agriculture, and the Quest for Land Health" will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, nonpoint source pollution comes from many diffuse sources. It is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters.

Brooks will discuss collaborative efforts of the EPA, Iowa farmers, state agencies and Iowa State University to seize a new opportunity to address water quality concerns related to agriculture. For the first time in generations, Iowans have the opportunity to tackle this significant challenge through development of a statewide nutrient-reduction strategy. The elements are in place for a concerted effort to reduce the nutrients that degrade Iowa waters and contribute to problems that extend well beyond the state’s borders. 

As administrator of EPA's Region 7, Brooks oversees the agency's operations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and nine tribal nations.  He is a member of the faculty at the University of Kansas, where he has taught American environmental, political and legal history, as well as environmental law and policy. Brooks is the author of three books, including "Before Earth Day: The Origins of American Environmental Law, 1945-1970."

Brooks' presentation is co-sponsored by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body. More information on ISU lectures is available online at http://www.lectures.iastate.edu, or by calling 515-294-9935.