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Iowa EPC To Discuss Impaired Waters and Enforcement Actions

DES MOINES — The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission will discuss the most recent draft of the state’s impaired waters list and a new rule that clarifies enforcement options at its Jan. 15 meeting.

The meeting will be held in the Wallace Building auditorium, 502 E. Ninth St., Des Moines, instead of the usual location in Windsor Heights.

The DNR will present commissioners with the state’s 2012 draft list of 482 impaired waterbodies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires the biennial report as a comprehensive summary of water quality in the state.

“The list is tied to Iowa’s water quality standards,” said John Olson, DNR environmental specialist senior. “Making the list does not necessarily mean the river or lake has a severe impairment like a stream running with open sewage. Most of the time making the list is more like an early warning system, indicating potential water quality problems exist or are developing.”

Some impairments, however, can be more severe, such as frequent algal blooms that prevent recreational uses at lakes. Pollution-caused fish kills also remain a severe impact of concern. The most typical impairments for lakes are algae and turbid or cloudy water. A high level of indicator bacteria is the most frequent impairment in rivers.

The draft 2012 list will be available for public comment until Feb. 28. The DNR will consider public comments and submit a revised draft to the EPA for review and final approval.

In other action, commissioners will be asked to approve a new rule that clarifies the variety of compliance and enforcement options the DNR considers in response to a potential violation of state law or rules. The DNR has used procedures similar to proposed Chapter 17 for many years, and this rulemaking simply formalizes this practice. The new chapter is intended to meet the DNR’s responsibility to protect public health and the environment, while, at the same time, providing regulated entities and the public with transparency, clarity, consistency and fairness in addressing potential violations of Iowa’s environmental statutes and rules.

The meeting will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the first of two public comment periods. The second public comment period will be from 2 to 3 p.m. and limited to comments on the Chapter 17 rules. Other appointments on the agenda include referrals to the Attorney General at 11:30 a.m. and at 1 p.m., and discussion of Chapter 17 rulemaking at 3 p.m.

Dinner at 6 p.m. will be at the Savery Hotel, 401 Locust St., Des Moines. On Jan. 16, the commission will meet with the Natural Resources Commission from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the fourth floor conference rooms of the Wallace Building, 502 E. Ninth St., Des Moines.

The complete agenda for the Jan. 15 meeting follows:

•    Approval of Agenda
•    Approval of Minutes
•    Director’s Remarks
•    Draft 2012 state list of CWA Section 303(d) impaired waters
•    Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund – FY 2013 Intended Use Plans Third Quarter Updates – Part 2: Sponsored Projects
•    EPC Annual Report
•    Referral to the Attorney General – Northwest Iowa Area Solid Waste Agency (Sheldon) – Solid Waste
•    Referral to the Attorney General – Ziegler Industries, Inc. (Des Moines) – Air Quality (asbestos)
•    Final Rules: Chapter 17: Environmental Services Division Rules – Compliance and Enforcement Procedures
•    Monthly Reports
•    General Discussion
•    Items for Next Month’s Meeting
o    Jan. 16 – Legislative Open House – State Capitol Room 116
o    Jan. 16 – Joint NRC/EPC Meeting – Wallace Building
o    Feb. 19 – EPC Meeting – Proposed Teleconference Meeting
o    March 19 – EPC Meeting – Windsor Heights

Find more information on the EPC agenda items at

The members of the commission are David Petty, Eldora, Chair; John Glenn, Centerville, Vice-Chair; Mary Boote, Des Moines, Secretary; Dee Bruemmer, Davenport; Nancy Couser, Nevada; Cindy Greiman, Garner; Brent Rastetter, Ames; Max Smith, Knoxville: and Joanne Stockdale, Okoboji. The director of the DNR is Chuck Gipp.

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