The Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to make changes to Iowa’s Clean Water Act permit and compliance program for concentrated animal feeding operations. The agreement includes specific actions the IDNR intends to take to remedy the program and a timeline for implementation of those actions to ensure clean, healthy water.
“Working with states to safeguard Midwestern waters is among EPA’s highest priorities,” said Karl Brooks, EPA regional administrator. “This agreement, developed after extensive public and industry input, commits the IDNR to making needed and achievable improvements to the system that keeps CAFOs compliant with the CWA. Iowans who operate a world-class livestock sector will continue to thrive in a first-rate permitting and inspection program.”
EPA considered public comments in its assessment of IDNR’s proposed actions to ensure clean water across the state. Public comments, including feedback from the agricultural community, were taken into consideration in the drafting of the final agreement.
EPA’s investigation of Iowa’s permit and compliance program for CAFOs was carried out in response to a petition for withdrawal of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program authorization from IDNR that was filed in 2007 by the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Sierra Club and the Environmental Integrity Project. Federal regulations allow interested parties to file these petitions when they are concerned that a state is not meeting the minimum NPDES program requirements.
A copy of the final work plan agreement can be found at www.epa.gov/region7/water