DES MOINES — Two contracts pertaining to flooding preparedness will be on the June 21 agenda for the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) in Windsor Heights. Commissioners will be asked to:
- Approve a contract with the University of Iowa to retain two part-time dam inspectors for 12 months beginning July 1. After inspections are completed, the DNR dam safety engineer begins compliance follow-up actions as necessary.
- Approve installation of 50 more bridge-mounted flood prediction sensors for cities and counties willing to be responsible for on-going maintenance. The Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa will continue to manage the stream sensors and maintain a web-based map to access real-time information. That will increase sensors in Iowa to 100 not counting the 160 network gauges operated by the U. S. Geological Survey.
In another action, the EPC will be asked to extend the service contract with five utility management organizations, for no more than $50,000 each, to help rural communities with little or no wastewater treatment with management services. The organizations can handle planning, construction, financial capacity, permitting, operations and delivery of wastewater infrastructure. Increased federal and state stimulus funds to USDA Rural Development are expected to increase funding opportunities for unsewered communities.
A grant program funded for $94,527 from the Environmental Protection Agency’s State Wetland Program will need EPC approval. The DNR will use the grant to monitor and evaluate the health of wetland ecosystems in Iowa. The State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa will analyze water samples for nitrogen, phosphorus, herbicides and other chemicals, and identify wetland species. The laboratory will monitor a sampling of farmed and non-farmed wetlands.
The DNR will ask the EPC to terminate rules regarding confinement feeding operations to conform with 2008 federal regulations. The U.S. Court of Appeals vacated portions of 2008 federal regulations in March 2011. A 180-day limit for completion of rulemaking will expire before the status of federal regulations is determined.
The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at the DNR Air Quality Conference Room, 7900 Hickman Road. Public participation is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
View the complete agenda for the June 21