Comment Period Extended on Nutrient Strategy
Posted: 01/03/2013
DES MOINES – The public comment period for the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy has been extended by two weeks until Jan. 18, 2013. The original 45-day comment period was scheduled to close on Jan. 4.

It has been the goal all along to have broad public input on the strategy and we hope the two additional weeks will allow more Iowans to review the strategy and provide comment. We have had some requests for an extension of the comment period and hope those interested will take advantage of the additional time to participate in the comment period, said DNR Director Chuck Gipp and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based approach to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways and the Gulf of Mexico. The strategy outlines voluntary efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point sources, such as wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities, and nonpoint sources, including farm fields and urban areas, in a scientific, reasonable and cost effective manner.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) worked with Iowa State University over a two-year period to develop the strategy. The resulting strategy is the first time such a comprehensive and integrated approach addressing both point and nonpoint sources of nutrients has been completed.

The Iowa strategy has been developed in response to the 2008 Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan that calls for the 12 states along the Mississippi River to develop strategies to reduce nutrient loading to the Gulf of Mexico. The Iowa strategy follows the recommended framework provided by EPA in 2011 and is only the second state to complete a statewide nutrient reduction strategy.

The full report, additional information and place for comments can be found at www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa DNR and Iowa State University have hosted two public meetings and hosted a webinar to educate Iowans about the strategy and answer questions. The webinar has been archived and can be viewed on the nutrient strategy website at www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu. In addition, presentations will be made to farmers, certified crop advisors and others in the agriculture industry as part of ISU Extension and Outreach’s ongoing educational meetings.

As of Jan. 2, more than 350 comments had been received on the plan.