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Water quality tops Environmental Protection Commission’s September meeting

DES MOINES – Progress and achievements in water quality, and streamlining floodplain permits are on the Environmental Protection Commission’s Sept. 20 agenda. 

Once again, the commission will meet at 10 a.m. in Room 116 of the State Capitol Building, 1007 E. Grand Avenue in Des Moines. The entrance is on the northwest side of the capitol.

At the top of the agenda is a presentation on Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy from Laurie Wissler, Iowa State University. Wissler will highlight progress and challenges in tracking funding, outreach and practice adoption, research, wastewater treatment improvements and water quality monitoring,.

The meeting is open to the public. Public comment will follow the presentation. Or, people may submit written comments to the commission by mail or email to Jerah Sheets, Jerah.Sheets@dnr.iowa.gov before the meeting.

DNR will report to the commission on drinking water compliance. A 10-year high of 94.5 percent of public water supply systems – serving more than 2.7 million Iowans -- complied with all health-based standards in 2015, despite increases in requirements over the last 10 years. “We have really good water operators in the state, and we work hard to ensure they understand and follow the requirements for water treatment and distribution systems,” said Mark Moeller, DNR supervisor. 

 A proposal to streamline construction requirements in floodplains is up for commission approval. The change would significantly reduce the time and cost to construct bridges and similar projects, and to install conservation practices, signs and utility poles in a floodplain. 

Commissioners have appointments to discuss referrals to the Attorney General’s office:

  • 1 p.m. for J.S. Properties and Terry Anderson for an asbestos violation in Oskaloosa and
  • 1:30 p.m. for Swiss Valley Farms Cooperative for air quality violations in Luana.

 The complete agenda follows:

  • Approval of Agenda
  • Approval of Minutes 
  • Monthly Reports
  • Nutrient Reduction Strategy Annual Report Presentation 
  • Public Participation 
  • Director’s Remarks
  • Farmed Wetland Study Summary
  • Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request
  • State of Iowa Public Drinking Water Program 2015 Annual Compliance Report
  • Water Supply: Water Use & Allocation Annual Permit Fee
  • Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund – Second Quarter Updates to the FY 2017 Intended Use Plans 
  • Contract with I & S Group, Inc. for Revising the Iowa Storm Water Management Manual
  • Contract with the United States Geological Survey for stream gaging and real-time water quality support
  • Contract with the State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa for Ambient Groundwater Analytical support
  • Contract amendment with the USDA Animal Research Service/USGS Laboratory at Marshfield, Wis. for Ambient Groundwater Analytical support
  • Notice of Intended Action – Chapter 61 – Water Quality Standards (Copper Criteria Update)
  • Adopted and Filed
  • Chapter 100 – Scope of Title – Definitions – Form – Rules of Practice
  • Chapter 101 - Solid Waste Comprehensive Planning Requirements 
  • Chapter 111 – Annual Reports of Environmental Management Systems  
  • Adopted and Filed – Amendments to Flood Plain Management Rules to streamline certain development types
  • Referral to the Attorney General - J.S. Properties, L.L.C. (J.S. Properties) and Terry Anderson
  • Referral to the Attorney General – Swiss Valley Farms Cooperative 
  • General Discussion
  • Items for Next Month’s Meeting
  • Oct. 18 – EPC Business Meeting,  Windsor Heights
  • Nov. 14 – EPC Educational Tour, Wright County 
  • Nov. 15 – EPC Business Meeting, Wright County

Find agenda details at www.iowadnr.gov/epc.

Commissioners include Mary Boote, Des Moines, chair; Chad Ingels, Randalia, vice chair; Cindy Greiman, Garner, secretary; Nancy Couser, Nevada; Bob Sinclair, Sigourney; Gene Ver Steeg, Inwood; LaQuanda Hoskins, Bettendorf; Ralph Lents, Menlo; and Joe Riding, Altoona. Chuck Gipp is the director of the DNR.

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