Author Archives: James Pray

About James Pray

Attorney with BrownWinick Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa.

What is the Green New Deal?

There has been a lot of confusion regarding a “Green New Deal.” The fact that people are now talking about a greenhouse gas reduction measure (regardless of what it really means) is an astounding turn-around from just two years ago … Continue reading

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Sioux City Wastewater Supervisor pleads guilty to hiding illegal discharges

Iowa has not see a great deal of criminal environmental enforcement at either the federal or state level.  Nationally, EPA’s civil enforcement under the current administration is down to levels never seen in recent history (by the size of penalties).  … Continue reading

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EPA and Army Corps Propose New Definition of “Waters of the United States.”

On December 11, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Army Corps of Engineers proposed a new definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) and will soon publish the new definition in the Federal Register for a … Continue reading

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November 15th is the deadline for Farmers to report Ammonia and Hydrogen Sulfide Releases from Animal Waste.

The EPA’s December 18, 2008 final rule exempted most farms from many reporting requirements in CERCLA and EPCRA. Exemptions were created under both EPCRA and CERCLA for emissions from animal waste for CERCLA and for smaller than CAFO-sized facilities under … Continue reading

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THE IOWA POLICY PROJECT’S DRAINAGE DISTRICT RECOMMENDATION — Flogging a Dead Horse

The term “flogging a dead horse” means to continue a particular endeavor that is a waste of time as the outcome is already decided. This term is appropriate for the recently publicized Iowa Policy Project (“IPP”) report finding that “drainage … Continue reading

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Don’t step in that Puddle! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Adopts new Iowa Stream Mitigation Rules

Before someone decides to remove or alter “Waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) through construction, plowing, grading or other similarly activities a 404(b) permit must be obtained. Part of the permitting process involves proving that the  “Least Damaging Practicable Alternative” … Continue reading

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EPA and USACE Move to Rescind 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule

In a move that surprises nobody, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Army, and Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) proposed on June 27, 2017 a new rule to rescind the 2015 Waters of the US Rule and re-codify the regulatory … Continue reading

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