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Making a Visible Difference in Communities: Iowa

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Council Bluffs, IA/Omaha, NE

The Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska community is comprised of approximately 470,000 residents, with approximately 28 percent identifying as minority. The interstate and river boundary makes environmental and public health protection efforts more challenging as a variety of local and state agencies are involved.

In Omaha, priorities included:

  • improving indoor air quality to reduce risks from asthma and radon
  • developing urban agriculture
  • working on Healthy Schools throughout the Omaha Public Schools
  • working toward brownfields redevelopment

In Council Bluffs, the focus was on:

  • improving water quality
  • planning community improvements for downtown infrastructures related to walkability and stormwater management
  • brownfield redevelopment projects

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Muscatine, IA

In Muscatine, large quantities of coal that are used to support local industry have led to high levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2) as well as small particulate matter (PM2.5).  Other priorities in Muscatine included upgrading the city’s sewer system to manage combined sewer overflows and applying EPA’s Green and Complete Street training principles to the Mississippi Drive Corridor and other downtown streets to create a more sustainable, pedestrian-friendly environment.   

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