The Environmental Protection Agency

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Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded almost $16 million dollars in grants to 25 airports in Iowa including some in the Siouxland.  The biggest amount of $900,000 goes to the Sioux Gateway Field in Sioux City for taxiway reconstruction.  Several smaller airports in the region also received money from the federal government including Storm Lake, Mapleton, Denison and the Sioux County Regional Airport in Maurice.  That facility gets the smallest grant in the area of $270,000 for snow removal equipment.

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A broad coalition of biofuel and farm advocates today sent a letter to the White House calling on President Trump to fix a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency. It notes that the EPA’s draft plan undermines the administration’s commitment to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard and accurately account for biofuel demand destroyed by Small Refinery Exemptions 

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association sent out a news release saying the letter says was signed by 60 organizations, including the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. 

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Corn growers and ethanol producers are concerned about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed fix for ethanol demand.  The comment period is still open. The ethanol industry wants the federal government to account for dozens of ethanol exemption waivers it issued to small refineries.

Iowa’s Republican elected officials to say they are confident the President is on their side, though the EPA  proposal disappointed many. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says intends to submit comments asking that the legally required number of gallons be met.

Iowa biofuels groups are calling on President Donald Trump to step in to resolve a dispute with the Environmental Protection Agency.

This week, the EPA released a proposal to make up for lost demand from waivers allowing small oil refineries to use less ethanol and biodiesel. But the plan only covers about half of the industry’s annual losses.  Ethanol producers like Plymouth Energy in Merrill were shut down for weeks at a time this year because of the effect of biofuels waivers to oil refineries.  

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Leaders of Iowa farm commodity and biofuels groups are calling on President Trump to force the EPA to follow the deal on ethanol and biodiesel that Trump struck with the industry a dozen days ago.  The leaders held a news conference today in Des Moines. 

Iowa Corn Growers Association CEO Craig Floss warned thousands of farmers who invested in ethanol and biodiesel plants will go out of business if the EPA plan stands. 

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Flooding from the torrential rain that's soaked much of southeastern South Dakota closed schools for a second day today submerged city streets and caused some to evacuate their homes. In Brandon, northeast of Sioux Falls, the heavy rain turned the local golf course into a lake. Portions of the 18-hole course and an office at the clubhouse were flooded.

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Iowa’s senior senator has some harsh words for the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s because of its decision to release many small oil refineries from their obligations to blend ethanol into gasoline. 

The past few days have dealt multiple blows to corn farmers: on Friday, EPA granted 31 so-called “hardship” waivers. And Monday, a prediction from the Agriculture Department showed declining demand for corn because ethanol production is down. 

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The former head of the Iowa Department of Human Services says he was asked to resign his position after refusing a request from Governor Kim Reynolds.   Jerry Foxhoven says the governor asked him to continue paying the salary of a woman moving from his department to the governor's office.

Foxhoven says he didn’t approve paying the salary of Elizabeth Matney, because he believed she was already being paid by the state for her new position. Foxhoven says he was fired two days after that decision.