Northey requests additional $150,000 for animal disease emergency preparation; continued funding for renewable fuels infrastructure and ag drainage well closures

Iowa Ag Secretary also highlighted support for long-term water quality funding in meeting with Gov. Reynolds

Monday, November 27, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey requested an additional $150,000 for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Animal Industry Bureau to provide additional support for preparations for and potentially responding to a foreign animal disease outbreak. Northey also requested continued funding to support the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program and the Agriculture Drainage Well Closure Program.

Northey requested an additional $150,000 for the Department’s Animal Industry Bureau for foreign animal disease outbreak response preparation. The Department received $100,000 in funding starting this fiscal year to support preparations for a foreign animal disease outbreak and a portion of that funding was used to hire a new Emergency Management Veterinarian. The additional funds would be used to accelerate work on emergency response plans, organize disease response exercises and expand coordination efforts with industry partners.

“Due to the challenging budget situation, we have put forward a lean budget proposal with the only request for additional funding being a $150,000 increase for our foreign animal disease response planning efforts. I do believe it is important we continue to invest in priority areas, including taking steps to better protect our state’s vitally important animal industry,” Northey said.

Northey also requested continued funding of $10.575 million to support the Iowa Water Quality Initiative in the next fiscal year and also highlighted his support for identifying a long-term source of funding for the state’s water quality efforts. Different water quality funding approaches passed both the Iowa House and Iowa Senate last session, but the legislature was not able to reach final agreement on a funding plan.

In the meeting with Reynolds, Northey also requested $1.875 million in continued funding to support the closure of Agriculture Drainage Wells (ADWs). Of the 300 registered ADWs in Iowa, 18 remain to be closed at an estimated cost of $5.625 million.  This level of funding over the next three years would allow all of the remaining ADWs to be closed.

The Department requested continued funding for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program. The Department has received $3 million annually to offer cost-share grants for the installation of E85 dispensers, blender pumps, biodiesel dispensers and biodiesel storage facilities. Since 2007, the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program has provided more than $33 million to fuel retailers for infrastructure that give customers additional access to renewable fuels. This includes 309 projects installing E85 or ethanol blender pumps and 413 projects installing biodiesel pumps or storage tanks.