DES MOINES – Assistance is available to industries and agricultural operations in complying with environmental regulations.
“Our emphasis in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has always been on compliance rather than enforcement of environmental regulations and certainly having knowledgeable people available to help navigate regulations goes a long way toward our goal of compliance,” said Bill Ehm, administrator of the DNR’s Environmental Services Division.
Three DNR staff positions held by Christine Spackman, Christina Iiams and Gene Tinker are dedicated to providing assistance to businesses.
Spackman serves as the business assistance coordinator, providing assistance to businesses with identifying and understanding DNR regulatory and permitting requirements as well as connecting them with resources to implement source reduction, recycling and other sustainable business practices. She also works closely with the Iowa Economic Development Authority to assure that key business projects receive enhanced communication, helpful customer service and timely processing of permit applications.
Iiams serves as the small business liaison working as an ombudsman between small businesses and the DNR’s Air Quality Bureau, providing technical referral assistance to small businesses, facilitating resolution of complaints from small businesses regarding DNR’s implementation of the Clean Air Act and providing assistance to the Air Quality Bureau in developing and coordinating outreach assistance to small businesses.
Tinker provides owners and operators of livestock feeding operations and associated agriculture businesses to insure all applicable requirements for construction and operation are understood. In addition to explaining requirements for construction and operation, applicants are also advised of the time required to provide the proper permits and approval for construction including involvement of other entities such as county boards of supervisors and the associated time lines that applicants can expect before their project can move forward.
Ehm said protecting the environment and providing a productive business climate are both key elements to growing Iowa’s economy.
“All three of these people have a great deal of experience and are excellent resources for our businesses and agricultural community to use for assistance,” Ehm said.