WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Water pollution

Ethanol Spills on the Rise in the Midwest

Dec 13, 2016
Darrell Hoemann/The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

An ethanol spill occurs every two days on average in the Midwest, the worst of which result in contamination of water supplies, major fish kills, loss of life, and millions of dollars of damage.

Brian Seifferlein/Harvest Public Media

Living in the Platte River Valley in central Nebraska means understanding that the water in your well may contain high levels of nitrates and may not be safe to drink.

Food Companies Show Concern About Farm Runoff

Sep 22, 2015
Abby Wendle

Corn and soybeans are the two crops at the center of the U.S. food system. In order to grow massive amounts of the crops, farmers in the Midwest typically apply hundreds of pounds of fertilizer on every acre they farm. This practice allows food companies to produce and consumers to consume a lot of relatively cheap food.

(Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)

Throughout the cropland of the Midwest, farmers use chemicals on their fields to nourish the plants and the soil. But excess nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients can wash off the fields and into streams, rivers and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.  New tools can help farmers monitor their soil and water so they can become part of the solution to this widespread problem.

EPA Ordered to Make Stricter Coal Ash Rules

Oct 7, 2013

A federal court has ordered the US Environmental Protection Agency to more strictly regulate a form of pollution from coal fired power plants, including plants in Western Illinois.

IL EPA Wants AG to Take Action in Spoon River Spill

Sep 29, 2013

The Illinois EPA wants law enforcement action against the owners of a railway which spilled thousands of gallons of corn syrup into a river in Fulton County last week.

EPA Forced to Decide on Nutrient Pollution Rules

Sep 27, 2013

The Federal Government could crack down on certain types of nutrient pollution thanks to a federal court ruling.

IEPA: High Atrazine levels in Spring Lake in 2012

Aug 20, 2013
Rich Egger

The Illinois EPA issued a report last month, saying the water in Spring Lake in Macomb had elevated levels of the herbicide atrazine.

High Levels of Herbicide in Spring Lake

Aug 19, 2013
Rich Egger

The Illinois EPA said it detected higher than acceptable levels of a crop herbicide in the lake that provides Macomb much of its water.

IL #1 Contributor to Dead Zone in the Gulf

Jul 31, 2013

Scientists recently completed a yearly survey of the size of the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The report also said Illinois is the top state in contributing to the problem.

Illinois Co-ops Recycle Pesticide Containers

Jul 2, 2013

As farmers turn from planting their crops to keeping weeds and pests in check, they rely on herbicides and pesticides.

Group Wants Syngenta Documents Released

Apr 3, 2013

An environmental group wants to make public all of the court documents related to a settlement involving Syngenta and water contamination from one of its herbicides.

US EPA OK's Missouri Rule Change on Pollution

Jan 29, 2013

The US EPA has agreed to allow Missouri’s  Department of Natural Resources  to relax its rules when it comes water pollution enforcement.

Missouri has gotten the go-ahead to extend how long it gives those in violation of their water pollution permits to get into compliance.