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IOWA PRESS #2734 - Sen. Merlin Bartz and Rep. Bill Witt
April 23, 2000

Borg: WE'RE BEGINNING EARTH WEEK 2000, AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ASSESSING THE CONDITION OF IOWA'S ENVIRONMENT. IN THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF IOWA PRESS, WE'LL GET PERSPECTIVES FROM SENATOR MERLIN BARTZ, WHO'S CHAIRMAN OF THE NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE IN THE IOWA SENATE, AND REPRESENTATIVE BILL WITT, THE RANKING DEMOCRAT ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE IN THE IOWA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. WE'LL TALK WITH SENATOR BARTZ AND REPRESENTATIVE WITT IN JUST A MOMENT. FIRST, IN THE 30 YEARS THAT EARTH DAY HAS BEEN COMMEMORATED, THE ENVIRONMENT AS A SOCIAL ISSUE HAS EVOLVED TO THE ENVIRONMENT AS A POLITICAL ISSUE. AT THE SAME TIME ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN AS A CAMPAIGN ISSUE HAS A LOWER PROFILE, AND THERE'S A CONNECTION. HERE ARE INSIGHTS ON THAT NOW FROM KAY HENDERSON OF RADIO IOWA" AND KATHIE OBRADOVICH OF THE LEE NEWSPAPERS.

Henderson: KATHIE, 30 YEARS AGO, ON THE FIRST EARTH DAY, SOME AMERICAN RIVERS WERE SO POLLUTED, THEY WERE CATCHING ON FIRE AND SOME AMERICAN CITIES HAD SO MUCH SMOG THAT PEOPLE WERE GETTING SICK AND ACTUALLY DYING FROM THE SMOG ITSELF. TODAY THE PROBLEMS THAT ENVIRONMENTALISTS TALK ABOUT ARE MUCH LESS VISIBLE AND LESS VISCERAL. THAT HOLE IN THE OZONE LAYER CAN'T BE SEEN, AND THE SCIENTISTS ARE STILL SQUABBLING ABOUT ITS CAUSE AND EFFECT. A RECENT NATIONWIDE GALLOP POLL FOUND THAT 70 PERCENT OF AMERICANS CONSIDER THEMSELVES ENVIRONMENTALISTS OR SYMPATHETIC TO THE ENVIRONMENTALIST CAUSE. THAT SAME SURVEY FOUND A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS BELIEVE THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING WHAT IT CAN TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT. VOTERS, THOUGH, IN THAT SURVEY, INDICATED THEY'RE MUCH MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THINGS LIKE CRIME AND THE ECONOMY AND EDUCATION.

Obradovich: THAT'S RIGHT, KAY, AND I THINK THAT WE FOUND SIMILAR TYPES OF OPINIONS IN IOWA WHEN WE WERE TALKING TO CAUCUS GOERS. AND REALLY, THAT'S NOT TOO SURPRISING WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE STATE. IOWA IS ONE OF THE OLDEST STATES IN THE NATION. PEOPLE ARE MORE INTO, PERHAPS, SUPPORT HOSE AND ORTHOPEDIC SHOES THAN THEY ARE INTO BIRKENSTOCKS AND HEMP HANDBAGS. AND FRANKLY, ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM HAS BEEN THE PROVINCE OF THE YOUNG FOR A LONG TIME. IN IOWA, FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM TO BECOME AN ISSUE, REALLY IT TAKES A PUSH FROM THE TOP AND NOT REALLY FROM THE GRASS ROOTS. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE POLITICAL HISTORY IN IOWA, FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS SINCE THAT FIRST EARTH DAY, THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE HAS BEEN DOMINATED BY REPUBLICANS. THAT REALLY MEANS THAT BIG BUSINESS AND REALLY BIG AG INTERESTS HAVE HAD A LOT MORE ENTREE INTO TERRACE HILL THAN, PERHAPS, OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS. SO IT'S ONLY NATURAL THAT IOWA'S ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY MIGHT LEAN TOWARD THEIR INTERESTS. WELL, WE HAVE A NEW DYNAMIC IN THE STATE RIGHT NOW. WE'VE GOT A NEW DEMOCRAT IN TERRACE HILL, AND THAT COMES WITH A NEW FOCUS ON WATER QUALITY AND LAND PRESERVATION ISSUES. REPUBLICANS ARE GETTING INTO THE ACT, TOO, BUT THEIR VERSION OF THE ENVIRONMENTALISM IS FOCUSED ON OUTDOOR RECREATION: PARKS, BOAT RAMPS, THINGS THAT THEIR VOTERS CAN SEE, FEEL, AND TOUCH, AND SORT OF AN INSTANT GRATIFICATION THING RATHER THAN WAITING FOR A LONG TIME FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS TO TAKE EFFECT. TO THE EXTENT THAT THOSE TWO THINGS ARE IN COMPETITION ISN'T ALL THAT BAD BECAUSE BETTER PARKS MEANS MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING OUT INTO THE ENVIRONMENT AND NOTICING WHETHER IT'S CLEAN OR NOT. BUT IT ALSO POSES SOME CHALLENGES BECAUSE WHERE YOU HAVE MORE PEOPLE, YOU TEND TO HAVE MORE POLLUTION.

Henderson: KATHIE, YOU TALK ABOUT TOUCHING AND SEEING. LET'S TALK ABOUT ANOTHER SENSE, SMELL. ENVIRONMENTALISTS IN THIS STATE STILL WARN OF A MASSIVE MANURE SPILL AND THEY SEEK, WITHOUT SUCCESS, STRICTER STANDARDS FOR LIVESTOCK OPERATIONS. THERE ARE A FEW SUCCESS STORIES FOR IOWA'S ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT TO NOTE. FIRST OF ALL, THIS PAST YEAR GOVERNOR VILSACK, A DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC LEADERS HAVE AGREED UPON A PLAN WHICH WILL MONITOR IOWA'S SURFACE WATERS AND, AT THE INSISTENCE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, THEY WILL CLEAN UP CONTAMINATED WATERWAYS. SECONDLY, THE IOWA ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL WAS RECENTLY FORMED, AND THAT GROUP ALLOWS ENVIRONMENTALISTS IN IOWA TO SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE AND BE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE AT THE STATEHOUSE. IF I MIGHT MAKE A PREDICTION, I THINK THE NEXT BIG ENVIRONMENTAL PUSH IN IOWA OR DEBATE IN IOWA MAY BE OVER CONCRETE AND ASPHALT, THE PAVING OVER OF IOWA FARMLAND. FOR KATHIE OBRADOVICH OF THE LEE NEWSPAPERS, I'M KAY HENDERSON OF RADIO IOWA, AND THAT'S OUR INSIGHT.

FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS WAS PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS. AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.

IN RECOGNITION OF EARTH WEEK 2000, THIS IS A SPECIAL EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. HERE AGAIN IS HOST AND MODERATOR DEAN BORG.

Borg: JUST WHAT IOWA'S ELECTED OFFICIALS CAN DO TO IMPROVE THE IOWA ENVIRONMENT IS OPEN FOR DEBATE, AND IT'S A DEBATE ROOTED IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. FIRST, IN CONSIDERING THE CLEANUP AND MAINTENANCE OF THE ATMOSPHERE ABOVE US, THE LAND BELOW US, AND THE WIND AND WATER THAT FLOW THROUGH, IT MUST BE DETERMINED WHETHER IT'S A FEDERAL OR A STATE PROBLEM... MORE DEFINITIVELY, WHO DOES THE DIAGNOSIS, WHO DOES THE TREATMENT, WHO PAYS THE BILLS. AND SECOND, WE MUST AGREE WHAT THE TERM "CLEAN ENVIRONMENT" REALLY MEANS AND HOW CLEAN. AFTER ALL, THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARGUE THAT THE IOWA ENVIRONMENT IS CLEAN AND WE'RE REALLY DOING ENOUGH TO KEEP IT THAT WAY. OUR TWO GUESTS THIS EVENING HAVE HEARD THE ARGUMENTS ON BOTH SIDES. JOINING US ARE SENATOR MERLIN BARTZ. HE'S A REPUBLICAN FROM GRAFTON. HE CHAIRS THE IOWA SENATE'S NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE. AND REPRESENTATIVE BILL WITT IS FROM CEDAR FALLS. HE'S THE RANKING DEMOCRAT ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE IN THE IOWA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO IOWA PRESS.

Witt: IT'S A PLEASURE.

Bartz: THANK YOU.

Borg: AND ACROSS THE TABLE, TWO MEN YOU KNOW FROM THE STATEHOUSE, REPORTERS DAVID YEPSEN OF THE DES MOINES REGISTER AND MIKE GLOVER OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.

Glover: SENATOR BARTZ, ONE OF THE THEMES OF THIS WHOLE PRESENTATION: IS THE STATE BETTER OFF NOW THAN IT WAS WHEN THIS WHOLE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT STARTED. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO ARGUE THAT THIS STATE IS BETTER OFF NOW WHEN MOTHERS IN THIS STATE ARE ROUTINELY TOLD NOT TO LET THEIR INFANTS DRINK WATER BECAUSE IT HAS POLLUTION IN IT?

Bartz: I THINK YOU HAVE YOU TO LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE.

Glover: ISN'T THAT AS BIG AS THE PICTURE GETS, YOU CAN'T FEED YOUR KID THE WATER?

Bartz: I THINK IN CERTAIN INSTANCES WE HAVE WATER-QUALITY PROBLEMS IN BOTH GROUNDWATER AND SURFACE WATER. OUR 1987 GROUNDWATER PROTECTION ACT, WHICH HAS NOW BEEN WORKING FOR 20-SOME YEARS, HELPED TO CLEAN UP EVERYTHING FROM UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK CONTAMINATION SITES TO BRINGING US TO THE SURFACE WATER PROTECTION ACT, "EYE ON IOWA," THAT THE LEGISLATURE PASSED AND THE GOVERNOR SIGNED THIS YEAR, TO GET US IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY'S SURFACE WATER MONITORING AND GATHERING DATA. SO I THINK THE BIG PICTURE IS WE'VE DONE SOME THINGS, BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, IN IMPROVING THE WATER QUALITY OF OUR STATE. YOU GET THAT BIG PICTURE WHEN YOU COMPARE OUR STATE TO OTHER STATES.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE WITT, MAKE THE CASE THAT THIS STATE HAS DONE A GOOD JOB OF PROTECTING ITS ENVIRONMENT GIVEN THAT MOTHERS ARE ROUTINELY TOLD NOT TO LET THEIR INFANTS DRINK THE WATER AND GIVEN THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SAYS YOU PEOPLE HAVE DONE SUCH A BAD JOB, IF YOU DON'T STRAIGHTEN YOUR ACT UP, WE'LL TAKE IT OVER.

Witt: WELL, I CAN'T MAKE THE CASE THAT WE'RE DOING A GREAT JOB. I CAN MAKE THE CASE THAT WE HAD A GOOD START BACK IN THE 1980S WITH THE LEADERSHIP FROM THE DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATURE. BUT SINCE THE START OF THE 1990S, WE'VE HAD A SITUATION WHERE, I THINK, THE REPUBLICAN ELEPHANT THAT HAS DOMINATED THE LEGISLATIVE POLITICS HAS ACTED MORE LIKE AN OSTRICH. WE HAVE GOT TO GET BACK TO THE POINT WHERE WE'RE FUNDING THE PROGRAMS, WE'RE IMPLEMENTING THE PROGRAMS THE WAY THEY WERE INTENDED. THAT'S THE FAILING THAT WE HAVE THROUGHOUT THE 1990S. I DON'T NECESSARILY BLAME SENATOR BARTZ FOR THIS AT ALL, BUT WE'VE HAD A SITUATION WHERE WE HAVE CHRONICALLY UNDERFUNDED THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, THE AGENCY THAT'S SUPPOSED TO IMPLEMENT THESE PROGRAMS; WE'VE TURNED OUR BACK ON GOOD LEGISLATION; WE'VE IGNORED FEDERAL MANDATES AND WE COULD HAVE BEEN DEVELOPING A PARTNERSHIP. WE HAVEN'T DONE THAT.

Yepsen: SENATOR BARTZ, AS A GOOD REPUBLICAN, DO YOU WANT TO RESPOND TO MR. WITT'S COMMERCIAL THERE?

Bartz: WELL, I'VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHAIR THE NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE IN THE SENATE FOR FOUR YEARS, AND IN THAT FOUR YEARS, WE HAVE HAD MAJOR, MAJOR INITIATIVES. WE PASSED BROWNFIELD'S LEGISLATION FOR INDUSTRIAL CLEANUPS. WE'VE DONE ENVIRONMENTAL AUDITS TO TRY TO GET PEOPLE TO VOLUNTARILY DO SOME OF THE THINGS THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOING. WE DID A MAJOR "RESTORE THE OUTDOORS" APPROPRIATION. AND THIS YEAR -- AND I'M VERY PROUD OF THE FACT THAT THE INITIATIVE ON IMPROVING OUR WATERSHED ATTRIBUTES WAS SUPPORTED TWO TIMES IN EACH CHAMBER UNANIMOUSLY AND SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR, A BASIC TOTAL PROGRAM SPENDING OF ABOUT $93 MILLION TO IMPROVE OUR SURFACE WATERS.

Yepsen: MR. WITT, I WANT TO FLIP MIKE'S QUESTION AROUND. THE RECENT ISSUE OF "U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT" CONCLUDES BY SAYING "DOOM AND GLOOM ENVIRONMENTAL PREDICTIONS HAVE PROVED WRONG MORE OFTEN THAN THEY HAVE PROVEN RIGHT." ARE YOU GUYS JUST A BUNCH OF TREE HUGGERS OUT THERE?

Witt: ABSOLUTELY NOT NOT. I'VE TAKEN PART IN A LOT OF THE INITIATIVES THAT SENATOR BARTZ TALKED ABOUT, WORKING ON THE BROWNFIELD'S LEGISLATION. IOWA IS RANKED BEST IN THE COUNTRY IN OUR UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS PROGRAM BECAUSE WE'VE MADE CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENTS IN IT, BUT HE JUST POINTED OUT THAT WE'RE ONLY NOW DRAWING DOWN $93 MILLION. WE COULD HAVE HAD THAT MONEY IN PLACE YEARS AGO IF THE LEGISLATURE WOULD HAVE ACTED THE WAY IT HAS DONE NOW. WE COULD HAVE BEEN WORKING TO CLEAN UP OUR WATER TEN YEARS AGO IF IT WEREN'T FOR THIS OSTRICH EFFECT.

Yepsen: KAY AND KATHIE POINTED OUT MOST VOTERS DON'T CARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

Witt: WELL, THEY DO.

Yepsen: WELL, THE POLLS DON'T SHOW THAT.

Witt: DAVID, THE POLLS WILL SHOW THAT THE VOTERS DO CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT. IT'S SELDOM, IF EVER, THE HOT-BUTTON ISSUE FOR VOTERS. IT'S ALWAYS UP THERE IN THEIR RANKINGS. YOU KNOW THE TERM "RESONATE," AND IT CERTAINLY DOES, JUST AS THIS LATEST POLE SAYS 70 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE AND THE OTHER POLL SAYS 80 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT AND CONSIDER THEMSELVES --

Yepsen: RIGHT, AND THEY'RE FOR MOTHERHOOD, APPLE PIE, AND THE FLAG TOO. THAT'S NOT REALLY A VALID TEST.

Witt: THAT'S WHY WE NEED LEADERSHIP AGAIN, TO GET THESE PROGRAMS BACK ON TRACK, MAKE THEM WORK THE WAY THEY SHOULD.

Yepsen: SENATOR BARTZ, IS THIS A PARTISAN ISSUE?

Bartz: I DON'T BELIEVE IT IS. I VIEW MY ROLE AS CHAIRMAN OF THE NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE A STEWARD. AND STEWARDSHIP, I THINK, IS SOMETHING THAT BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES CAN DEAL WITH, AND I ALSO VIEW MY ROLE AS A FACILITATOR TO TRY TO FIND THOSE AREAS WHERE THE MINORITY PARTY IN THE LEGISLATURE AND THE MAJORITY PARTY CAN AGREE.

Glover: SENATOR BARTZ, YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THIS LEGISLATION PASSED AND THE GOVERNOR SIGNED EARLIER THIS SESSION THE WATER-QUALITY BILL THAT CALLED FOR THINGS LIKE FILTER STRIPS AND SO FORTH, CALLED FOR SOME SPENDING. WHEN THAT BILL IS IN PLACE AND WHEN IT'S WORKING -- I HATE TO KEEP USING THIS EXAMPLE, BUT WILL MOTHERS BE ABLE TO LET THEIR INFANTS DRINK WATER? IS THAT GOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

Bartz: I BELIEVE THAT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THAT THIS -- NOT NEXT YEAR, BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THIS CONTINUAL TYPE OF PROGRAM AND THE BENCHMARKS THAT WE SET OVER A PERIOD OF FOUR, FIVE YEARS, WITH CONTINUED SUPPORT FROM THE LEGISLATURE, THE ANSWER IS YES.

Glover: SO FOUR OR FIVE YEARS, THE PROBLEM IS SOLVED.

Bartz: YES.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE WITT, WILL THAT BILL SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF WATER QUALITY IN THIS STATE?

Witt: IT WILL GET US PART OF THE WAY THERE. IT WILL GET US TO THE POINT WHERE WE CAN FISH IN THOSE WATERS AND SWIM IN THEM, BUT WE STILL HAVE ISSUES THAT RELATE TO GROUNDWATER. AND THERE'S ONE WE'RE OVERLOOKING COMPLETELY; THAT'S THE CONFINED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS.

Glover: WE'LL GET TO THAT IN A MINUTE. WHAT ELSE NEEDS TO BE DONE?

Witt: WELL, WE NEED TO ADDRESS A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT RELATE TO GROUNDWATER POLLUTION. WE NEED TO GET ON TRACK WITH CONTROLLING CONTAMINANTS THAT FLOW FROM LAGOONS AND ALSO THE APPLICATION MANURE ON FIELDS. THOSE ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT ALSO IMPACT ON THIS.

Glover: THIS RAISES THE ISSUE OF FARMING. SENATOR BARTZ, ARE FARMERS GOOD STEWARDS OF THE LAND?

Bartz: I THINK FOR THE MOST PART THEY ARE. HOWEVER --

Glover: BUT WHY IS EVERYTHING GETTING INTO THE WATER COMING FROM FARMS?

Bartz: SURE, THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION SURVEY, WHICH GAVE US THE "F" GRADE THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE TALKING ABOUT RECENTLY, I'VE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT THAT. THE NUMBER ONE SOURCE UNDER THE "UNKNOWN SOURCE" WAS SILTATION, AND I THINK THAT "EYE ON IOWA" CAN DEAL WITH THAT WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSERVATION BUFFERS, RIPARIAN BUFFERS, THINGS LIKE THAT. THE SECOND BIGGEST ISSUE THAT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH IS THE UNKNOWN, THE UNKNOWN IMPAIRMENTS. IN PARTICULAR, WITH THE UNKNOWN IMPAIRMENTS, WE NEED ADDITIONAL DATA. WE NEED TO SET BENCHMARKS TO IMPROVE THE IMPAIRED WATERS AND TO KEEP THE NONIMPAIRED WATERS NONIMPAIRED.

Yepsen: MR. WITT, ISN'T THE PROBLEM IN IOWA MORE THAN JUST FARMERS? ISN'T IT ALSO TRUE THAT A LOT OF URBAN AND SUBURBAN HOMEOWNERS ARE DUMPING TOO MANY CHEMICALS ON THE LAND?

Witt: SURE.

Yepsen: WELL, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO TO DO ABOUT THAT? WE TALK ABOUT BUFFER STRIPS FOR FARMERS --

Witt: IF YOU COMPARE --

Yepsen: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO FOR THE YUPPIE IN THE SUBURBS WHO USES TOO MUCH FERTILIZER?

Witt: SURE, IF YOU COMPARE URBAN ACREAGES WITH GOLF COURSES, YOU'RE STILL TALKING ABOUT A MINUSCULE PERCENTAGE OF THE STATE'S LAND COMPARED TO THAT WHICH IS UNDER TILLAGE.

Yepsen: SO ISN'T IT, THEN, TIME TO GET TOUGHER ON FARMERS? CAN WE WAIT FOUR OR FIVE YEARS?

Witt: I THINK IF WE DO IT RIGHT, WE CAN HAVE A PARTNERSHIP FOR STEWARDSHIP IN THIS STATE. GOVERNOR VILSACK IS SHOWING US SOME DIRECTION THERE. DIRECTOR JOHNSON, AT THE DNR, IS SHOWING THAT SAME KIND OF LEADERSHIP. PATTY JUDGE, THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AGAIN, IS COMING AND SHOWING US HOW WE MIGHT PUT THOSE KINDS OF PROGRAMS TOGETHER. WE EVEN HAVE THE GOVERNOR COORDINATING EFFORTS BETWEEN DNR AND THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, AND HOW TO MINIMIZE IMPACTS OF HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION AND BE SENSITIVE TO THE ENVIRONMENT.

Borg: LET'S GET INTO SPECIFICS. APPARENTLY, REPRESENTATIVE WITT WANTS TO TALK ABOUT LARGE LIVESTOCK OPERATIONS. I'LL GIVE YOU A CHANCE, FIRST OF ALL, SENATOR BARTZ. HAVE WE DONE ENOUGH ON LARGE HOG LOTS AND CONFINED LIVESTOCK OPERATIONS, OR IS THERE YET SOMETHING WE NEED TO DO?

Bartz: IN MY ESTIMATION, WE HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT NORTH CAROLINA A FEW YEARS BACK, WHICH IS A DISASTER IN THE MAKING, FRANKLY. I THINK THAT THERE ARE SOME ADDITIONAL THINGS WE CAN DO IN REGARD TO NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT THAT WOULD DEFINITELY HELP PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT.

Borg: NOW, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN, NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT?

Bartz: PARTICULARLY, WITH NITROGEN AND PHOSPHORUS APPLICATIONS, I THINK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS EVENTUALLY GOING TO PUSH IOWA, IF WE DON'T DO IT BY OURSELVES, TOWARDS NOT ONLY THE NITROGEN LIMITATIONS ON A PER-ACRE BASIS, BUT ALSO OTHER HEAVY METALS AND PHOSPHOROUS APPLICATIONS.

Glover: BUT THIS LEGISLATURE IS NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THAT.

Bartz: WELL, I'VE BEEN TRYING TO DO MY BEST, ONCE AGAIN, TO FACILITATE TRYING TO REACH SOME AGREEMENT ON THAT, AND I THINK --

Glover: THIS LEGISLATURE ONLY HAS A COUPLE OF DAYS LEFT OR IT'S NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING.

Bartz: IT WON'T HAPPEN THIS YEAR, BUT YOU HAVE TO CONTINUE TO DO THOSE THINGS AS THE CHAIR OF A COMMITTEE. MY COMMITTEE HAS PASSED OUT, ACTUALLY, A HARD BAN ON NEW CONSTRUCTION OF EARTHEN LAGOONS. WE HAD PASSED OUT, THIS YEAR ALSO, SOME INTEGRATOR LIABILITY, SO THAT WHEN A NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT PLANT DOESN'T MEET STATE SPECIFICATIONS, THEY DON'T ONLY GO AFTER THE PERSON THAT'S RAISING THE LIVESTOCK, BUT THEY GO AFTER THE PERSON THAT OWNS THE LIVESTOCK.

Glover: SOUNDS NICE BUT YOU'RE NOT GOING TO CONVINCE YOUR COLLEAGUES TO DO IT.

Bartz: WELL, I HAVEN'T BEEN SUCCESSFUL SO FAR.

Borg: REPRESENTATIVE WITT, YOU WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THIS ISSUE. WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO IN IOWA ON LARGE LIVESTOCK OPERATIONS?

Witt: FIRST, I'D CREDIT SENATOR BARTZ. I THINK HE DOES SHOW A LOT OF GOODWILL THERE, BUT THE PROBLEM, AS YOU'VE IDENTIFIED, IS THE REST OF HIS CAUCUS ISN'T WITH HIM. WE HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM WITH A LARGE PART OF THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS IN THE HOUSE. I THINK HE AND I AND A FEW OTHER PEOPLE COULD PROBABLY SIT DOWN AND WORK OUT SOME PRETTY REASONABLE APPROACHES.

Borg: WHAT WOULD YOU WORK OUT? THAT'S I WANT TO GET AT.

Witt: WELL, HERE'S WHAT I'D LIKE TO SEE US DO. ONE, WE'VE GOT A PROBLEM WITH TOO MANY OF THESE ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS GOING IN TOO FAST IN AREAS WHERE THEY SHOULD NEVER BE. I CAN'T SPEAK ABOUT ALL PARTS OF THE STATE. I CAN'T SPEAK ABOUT, SAY, POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY WHERE, I GUESS, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE DOWN THERE WHO ARE VERY UPSET. BUT I CAN TALK ABOUT NORTHEAST IOWA WHERE I GREW UP.

Glover: WHAT ELSE NEEDS TO BE DONE?

Witt: I CAN TALK ABOUT BLACK HAWK COUNTY. WE CAN DO A MUCH BETTER JOB OF CONTROLLING WHERE THESE THINGS GO IN. SECOND, AS THE SENATOR HAS POINTED OUT, WE'VE GOT TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF PHOSPHORUS. NITROGEN CONTROLS ALONE STILL MEAN THAT WE'VE GOT WAY TOO MUCH PHOSPHORUS GOING ON AND INTO THE SOIL. THIRD IS AIR QUALITY. PEOPLE THINK ABOUT HOG CONFINEMENTS JUST IN TERMS OF SMELL. THOSE THINGS KICK OUT TOXIC POLLUTANTS THAT ACTUALLY CAN MAKE PEOPLE SICK AND DO. SO WE'VE GOT TO HAVE SOME AIR-QUALITY STANDARDS. NOW, REPRESENTATIVE JOCHUM AND MYSELF AND OTHERS, JUST THIS LAST WEEK TRIED TO PUT AN AMENDMENT ON A BILL THAT SET STANDARDS, TELL THE DNR SET AIR TOXIC STANDARDS AS THEY RELATE TO THESE CONFINEMENT OPERATIONS. COULDN'T GET ANYWHERE WITH IT.

Yepsen: MR. WITT --

Witt: ONE LAST POINT, DAVID, AND THAT IS TAX BREAKS. WE'VE GOT A SITUATION WHERE WE HAND OUT TAX BREAKS TO PEOPLE WHO SIMPLY DIG A HOLE IN THE GROUND TO PUT THE MANURE IN IT. WE HAVE GOT TO INTEGRATE. IF WE WANT TO HAVE REAL POLLUTION CONTROLS, I THINK WE CAN HAVE SOME POSITIVE STEPS. WE'RE NOT DOING THAT.

Yepsen: WE NEED TO MOVE ON TO OTHER ISSUES HERE, MR. WITT. THE BOTTLE BILL... SHOULD WE GET RID OF IT OR SHOULD WE EXPAND IT TO OTHER THINGS? A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T LIKE HAVING THEIR GROCERY STORE BE A GARBAGE DUMP. ON THE OTHER HAND, A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY THE BOTTLE BILL ISN'T WORKING BECAUSE IT DOESN'T COVER ENOUGH THINGS. WHAT'S THE BEST COURSE FOR IOWA?

Witt: WELL, FIRST, I'D GIVE CREDIT TO GOVERNOR RAY, WHO REALLY STARTED IOWANS THINKING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT AGAIN WITH HIS ADVOCACY FOR THIS BILL. I WOULD GIVE CREDIT TO GOVERNOR VILSACK, BECAUSE I THINK IF HE HAD NOT BEEN SITTING IN THE GOVERNOR'S CHAIR THIS YEAR, WE MIGHT WELL HAVE SEEN AN EFFORT BY THE REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE TO DO JUST AS YOU'VE SUGGESTED AND UNDO THE BOTTLE BILL. MOST IOWANS WANT TO SEE US EXPAND THE BOTTLE BILL, AND THAT'S WHAT I'D LIKE TO WORK TOWARD.

Yepsen: MR. BARTZ?

Bartz: MOST IOWANS WOULD ALSO SUPPORT GOING TO CURBSIDE RECYCLING IF IT WAS THE ENVIRONMENTALLY BEST WAY TO GO. I DO NOT HAVE AN OFFICIAL POSITION ON REPEALING IT OR EXPANDING IT AT THIS POINT. IN FACT, I HAVE NOT HAD A BILL EVEN INTRODUCED IN THE COMMITTEE TO EXPAND IT THIS YEAR. I'VE ALSO WORKED WITH, TALKING TO THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICES, HOW DO WE GET THE BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK IN THE OVERALL ENVIRONMENTAL PICTURE. IF WE NEED TO GO CURBSIDE -- THAT ACTUALLY EXPANDS THE ABILITY TO RECYCLE ALL RECYCLABLES IN THE STATE OF IOWA -- THEN I WOULD BE INCLINED TO SAY, YES, THE BOTTLE BILL IS GREAT. IT'S WORKED GREAT FOR 20 YEARS, BUT WE NEED TO LOOK AT A LARGER PICTURE THAN JUST REDUCING TRASH IN THE ROAD DITCHES. WE NEED TO LOOK AT THE BIGGER ISSUE OF RECYCLING IN ITS ENTIRETY.

Glover: SENATOR BARTZ, THE FEDERAL FARM BILL IS GOING TO BE COMING UP FOR RENEWAL BEFORE TOO MUCH LONGER. WHAT SHOULD IOWANS BE DOING RIGHT NOW IN TERMS OF LOBBYING TO GET ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES INTO THAT BILL? WHAT ARE THE TOP TWO OR THREE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES LIKE SOIL CONSERVATION THAT OUGHT TO BE CONSIDERED IN THAT FARM BILL?

Bartz: I THINK THAT IF I WAS THE INDIVIDUAL THAT COULD BE KING FOR A DAY AND LOBBY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ON FARM POLICY, I WOULD DEFINITELY CONTINUE ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE CONTINUOUS SIGN-UP PROGRAM FOR THE CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM AND ADDITIONAL ACRES TARGETED INTO THAT PROGRAM. I'D ALSO DEAL WITH TARGETING THE BENEFITS OF THE FARM PROGRAM TO SMALLER AND MEDIUM-SIZED PRODUCERS AND SOMEHOW HAVE THAT NOT TARGETED JUST UPON A PAYMENT ON A PER-ACRE BASIS BUT A PAYMENT MORE BASED ON AN INCOME BASIS.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE WITT, A LOT OF THINGS IN THAT BILL ARE CARROT-AND-STICK APPROACHES, FARMERS ARE OFFERED INCENTIVES TO DO THINGS LIKE SOIL CONSERVATION AND SET-ASIDE ACRES AND SO FORTH AND SO ON. AT WHAT POINT SHOULD THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STEP IN AND SAY, "THESE ARE THE BEST CONSERVATION PRACTICES, YOU'LL FOLLOW THEM"?

Witt: WELL, IN PART, I THINK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OUGHT TO RECOGNIZE THAT LOCAL PEOPLE WHO WORK ON THE LAND CAN PROBABLY COME UP WITH SOME PRETTY GOOD IDEAS, AND WE'VE GOT A GOOD SYSTEM IN PLACE FOR THAT. BUT AGAIN, WE'VE HAD RESISTANCE BOTH ON THE PART OF THE LEGISLATURE AND UPON GROUPS LIKE THE FARM BUREAU, WHO DON'T WANT TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PUTS $2.5 BILLION WORTH OF FARM ASSISTANCE INTO THIS STATE'S ECONOMY EVERY YEAR, DIRECTLY BENEFITING FARMERS AND INDIRECTLY BENEFITING US. I THINK A LARGE PART OF THE RESPONSIBILITY FALLS ON THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE TO SEE THAT WE REALLY UNDERTAKE INITIATIVES, SUCH AS THE SURFACE-WATER INITIATIVE THAT WE JUST PASSED THIS YEAR, AND MAKE THEM WORK AND GET AS MANY PEOPLE PARTICIPATING AS POSSIBLE.

Borg: WE HAVE A LOT THAT WE NEED TO ASK YOU ABOUT. SENATOR BARTZ, THERE'S A TERRIFIC STRUGGLE GOING ON IN LINN COUNTY RIGHT NOW TO SITE A LANDFILL. DOES IT HAVE TO BE EASIER FOR MUNICIPALITIES TO BE ABLE TO SITE LANDFILLS, AND HOW DO YOU BALANCE LANDOWNERS' RIGHTS AND THOSE NEIGHBORS' RIGHTS, OR SHOULD IT BE HAULING TRASH OUT OF IOWA AND PARKING IT SOMEPLACE ELSE OR BURNING IT?

Bartz: I'VE HAD SOME CORRESPONDENCE ON THIS, AND I KNOW IT'S BEEN A BIG PROBLEM OVER IN LINN COUNTY. I'M NOT EXACTLY SURE WHERE OUR DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES IS ON IN THE SITING OF THAT PARTICULAR LANDFILL. SO I HAVE TO HONESTLY SAY I DON'T KNOW, BUT I CAN ANSWER THE SECOND QUESTION. TRASH HAS BEEN SOMETHING THAT EVERYBODY TRIES TO THROW IN EVERYBODY ELSE'S STATE, AND I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS IN REGARD TO ADDITIONAL RECYCLING AND REUSE OF THOSE PRODUCTS, WHETHER THAT BE IN BURNING FOR ENERGY OR WHETHER THAT BE IN RECYCLING THE PLASTICS AND THE METALS, BECAUSE IT'S LESS COSTLY TO DO THAT THAN IT IS TO MINE IT FROM THE SURFACE.

Borg: REPRESENTATIVE WITT, ON THE LANDFILL, IT'S BIGGER THAN A LINN COUNTY QUESTION. THE SAME STRUGGLE WILL GO ON ELSEWHERE.

Witt: IT'S AS BIG AS THE STATE OF MINNESOTA. MINNESOTA HAS PASSED LEGISLATION THAT WILL PHASE OUT LANDFILLS IN THAT STATE AS OF THE YEAR 2008.

Yepsen: WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO?

Witt: WELL, THEY'RE PURSUING WASTE REDUCTION, RECYCLING, REUSE, AS SENATOR BARTZ HAS SUGGESTED.

Bartz: AND THEY'VE ALSO DUMPED A LOT OF THEIR TRASH IN IOWA.

[ SPEAKING AT ONCE ]

Glover: VERY NEAR YOUR HOMETOWN.

Bartz: THAT'S RIGHT!

Witt: WHICH IS WHY WE HAVE REALLY GOT TO STEP UP TO THE MARK, OR WE'RE GOING TO BECOME MINNESOTA'S DUMPING GROUND.

Glover: SENATOR BARTZ, ANOTHER ISSUE THAT COMES UP OFTEN WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN THE STATE IS THE LOESS HILLS, A REMARKABLE GEOLOGICAL STRUCTURE IN WESTERN IOWA. CAN THAT STRUCTURE BE PROTECTED WHILE THE LAND, AT THE SAME TIME, REMAINS IN PRIVATE HANDS?

Bartz: YES, AND I THINK THE LOESS HILLS DEVELOPMENT AND THE INITIATIVES THAT THE LEGISLATURE HAS PASSED IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS ENCOURAGES THAT, CONTINUED VOLUNTARY DEVELOPMENT OF THAT. YOU ALSO HAVE THE ISSUE OF SHOULD WE HAVE SOME SORT OF A STATE PARK OR -- EXCUSE ME, A NATIONAL PARK THERE. I'VE TALKED TO SENATOR LUNDBY ABOUT THAT. I'VE TALKED TO SOME OF THE WESTERN IOWA LEGISLATORS. I THINK WE NEED TO BE SURE THAT IT'S SOMEHOW SPECIALLY SET ASIDE. I DON'T KNOW IF A NATIONAL PARK DESIGNATION TAKES CARE OF THAT FIRST QUESTION THAT WE DISCUSSED.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE WITT, PARK IN THE LOESS HILLS?

Witt: OR A NATIONAL MONUMENT. WHAT YOU CALL IT IS NOT SO IMPORTANT AS HOW IT WORKS. A NATIONAL MONUMENT STATUS GIVES A LOT OF FLEXIBILITY, AS OPPOSED TO THE STRICT GUIDELINES OF A PARK. SO WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT THAT'S ON THE TABLE; IT'S NOT JUST A NATIONAL PARK WITH ALL THE FENCES AND BOUNDARIES.

Yepsen: THIS LEADS TO THE LARGER QUESTION OF OUTDOOR RECREATION IN GENERAL IN THIS STATE. IOWA HAS SOME OF THE LOWEST LEVELS OF PUBLIC OWNERSHIP OF LAND OF ANY STATE IN THE COUNTRY BECAUSE IT'S GOOD FARMLAND HERE. IS ANYTHING, REPRESENTATIVE WITT, BEING DONE BY THIS LEGISLATURE TO EXPAND THE NUMBER OF PARKS AND RECREATION AREAS IN THIS STATE?

Witt: WELL, THE KEY ISSUE IS, OF COURSE, THE REAP PROGRAM, THE RESOURCE ENHANCEMENT AND PROTECTION PROGRAM, WHICH WE'VE PROMISED EVER SINCE IT STARTED TO FULLY FUND AND WE'VE ONLY ACHIEVED THAT ONCE. WE'RE VERY CONCERNED THAT AS THE BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS WIND DOWN THIS YEAR, THAT WE'RE BARELY GOING TO SEE $10- OR $11 MILLION IN THE REAP PROGRAM, WHICH BENEFITS NOT ONLY STATE LANDS BUT, OF COURSE, AS YOU KNOW, COUNTY LANDS, CITIES, HISTORIC PRESERVATION, A HOST OF THINGS.

Yepsen: SENATOR BARTZ, ANY MORE EXPANDED PRIVATE -- PUBLIC RECREATION AREAS IN IOWA?

Bartz: WELL, AS REPRESENTATIVE WITT MENTIONED, THE OPEN SPACES PORTION OF THE REAP ACCOUNT, I BELIEVE, DEALS WITH LAND ACQUISITION AND IT ALSO DEALS WITH -- THERE'S A PORTION OF THAT, THAT DEALS WITH LAND DEVELOPMENT. HE'S CORRECT. THE LEGISLATURE, BOTH UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, BOTH A REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT GOVERNOR HAS NOT FULLY FUNDED THE REAP PROGRAM. IOWANS, THOUGH, I THINK, ARE ALSO VERY CONCERNED ABOUT WHEN YOU START DEVELOPING PUBLIC OWNERSHIP OF LANDS, THEY'RE ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT WHO PAYS THE PROPERTY TAX. THEY'RE ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT ARE WE USING THAT LAND TO THE BENEFIT OF ALL IOWANS AND, FRANKLY, THERE'S BEEN SOME DISAGREEMENT AS TO WHETHER THOSE THINGS ARE HAPPENING.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE WITT, ONE OF THE ITEMS THAT LAWMAKERS HAVE FOCUSED ON THIS YEAR IS OUTDOOR RECREATION. THERE ARE SOME CRITICS WHO SAY THAT YOU'RE SPENDING A LOT OF MONEY TO FIX UP SOME OLD PARK SHELTERS WHILE SCHOOLS ARE CRUMBLING. HOW DO YOU ANSWER THAT CRITICISM?

Witt: I THINK YOU CAN DO BOTH. AGAIN, WE'VE MISSED SOME REAL OPPORTUNITIES TO ADDRESS SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE. WE'RE TAKING A FEW HALTING STEPS AT IT THIS YEAR, BUT WE'VE HAD PLANS ON THE TABLE FOR YEARS THAT ARE SELF-FUNDING, REVOLVING LOAN FUNDS THAT REALLY ADDRESS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES. IT'S NOT EITHER/OR.

Glover: SENATOR BARTZ, IOWA DOESN'T HAVE MOUNTAINS, IOWA DOESN'T HAVE AN OCEAN, WHY SHOULD WE BE SPENDING MONEY ON OUTDOOR RECREATION?

Bartz: BECAUSE WE HAVE A GREAT QUALITY OF LIFE AND WE'RE THE NUMBER ONE PLACE IN THE NATION TO RAISE A FAMILY. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO FAMILIES, PARTICULARLY YOUNG FAMILIES, THAT THEIR CHILDREN HAVE A PLACE TO PLAY.

Yepsen: SENATOR BARTZ, ANOTHER ISSUE IN THIS STATE HAS BECOME ROADS VERSUS THE ENVIRONMENT. WE'VE HAD A COUPLE OF EXAMPLES IN OUR STATE OF WHERE AT THE LAST MINUTE SOME FROG OR TOAD OR BUG SEEMS TO HALT ROAD CONSTRUCTION PROJECT, AND THIS UPSETS PEOPLE. HAVE WE GOTTEN TO THE POINT IN OUR REGULATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE CAN AVOID THESE THINGS FROM HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE, PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND STILL HAVE THE ROADS THAT WE NEED?

Bartz: I THINK COMMON SENSE NEEDS TO PREVAIL, AND I THINK THERE IS SOME GIVE AND TAKE FROM BOTH THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY AND THE ROAD BUILDERS COMMUNITY THAT WE NEED TO LOOK AT. IN PARTICULAR, SENATOR MILLER IS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND HOW THEY DEAL WITH THEIR CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS AND SOIL EROSION IN THOSE PROJECTS. COMPARE IT TO THE ENDANGERED SPECIES DEBATE THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE SENATE, AND WHAT WE HAVE DECIDED OR WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO DO IS STUDY THAT COORDINATION AND SEE IF WE CAN COME UP WITH A COMMON-SENSE APPROACH.

Yepsen: MR. WITT, CAN WE SOLVE THIS PROBLEM?

Witt: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, IT'S NOT THE FAULT OF THE ORCHIDS OR THE TURTLES THAT THE PROBLEMS CAME ABOUT. IT'S THE FACT THAT, IN THIS CASE, IN THE CASE OF ANY BILL, FOR EXAMPLE, THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERS AND PLANNERS DID NOT LOOK AT WHAT WAS THERE. THEY TRIED TO GET AROUND IT. ONLY WHEN SOMEBODY ELSE FOUND WHAT WAS THERE DID THE PROBLEM ARISE. SO I COME BACK TO THIS POINT THAT -- I THINK UNDER GOVERNOR VILSACK, WE'RE SEEING SOME REAL INITIATIVES IN LEADERSHIP TOWARD WHAT YOU COULD CALL A PARTNERSHIP FOR STEWARDSHIP. NOW, I'D LIKE TO SEE US TAKE THAT ONE STEP FARTHER. I'D LIKE TO SEE THE LEGISLATURE ESTABLISH AN ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT, SO THAT WE WOULD COORDINATE. IT WOULD BE DOWN IN BLACK AND WHITE THAT STATE AGENCIES WILL COORDINATE THEIR ACTIVITIES. THEY'LL COOPERATE WITH EACH OTHER AND WITH THE PUBLIC AND OTHER AGENCIES.

Glover: SENATOR BARTZ, THERE WAS SOME DISCUSSION THIS YEAR OF DEVELOPING ALTERATIVE ENERGY RESOURCES. IT DIED WITH THAT ELECTRIC DEREGULATION THING. SHOULD MORE BE DONE TO DO THAT IN THE LARGER ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION?

Bartz: ABSOLUTELY.

Glover: WHY?

Bartz: I THINK THAT IT'S IMPERATIVE THAT WHEN YOU HAVE A STATE THAT IMPORTS OVER FOUR BILLON OR SIX BILLION -- I'VE SEEN NUMEROUS FIGURES -- WORTH OF FOSSIL FUELS, THAT WE CONTINUE TO DEAL WITH THOSE ENERGY SOURCES THAT ARE BENEFICIAL TO IOWANS, NOT ONLY WIND ENERGY, WHICH I'M A BIG PROPONENT OF AND WHICH I HAVE A WIND FARM NEAR CLEAR LAKE, BUT THINGS LIKE ETHANOL.

Yepsen: SENATOR, VERY QUICKLY, ONE-WORD ANSWER. IS IOWA'S ENVIRONMENT BETTER OFF TODAY THAN IT WAS 30 YEARS AGO?

Bartz: YES.

Yepsen: MR. WITT?

Witt: YES.

Borg: OBVIOUSLY THE TOPICS ARE AS BROAD AS THE ENVIRONMENT, AND I'M SORRY THAT WE ARE OUT OF TIME. THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME TO DISCUSS THESE WITH US TODAY. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF IOWA PRESS, OUR FOCUS IS ON THE BUSINESS OF THE 106TH U.S. CONGRESS. JOINING US WILL BE REPUBLICAN JIM NUSSLE, NOW IN HIS FIFTH TERM REPRESENTING IOWA'S SECOND U.S. CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT; THAT'S IN NORTHEAST IOWA. THAT'S NEXT SUNDAY AT NOON AND 7:00. THIS CONCLUDES THIS WEEK'S IOWA PRESS AND OUR IOWA PRESS SPECIAL. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS WAS PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS. AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.