In 2002, the Iowa Legislature directed the DNR to perform a field study to determine airborne levels of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and odor near animal feeding operations.
The department has established a health based standard for hydrogen sulfide to compare against monitoring data to determine if levels pose a risk to public health. If levels measured at separated locations such as homes, public areas, schools, or religious buildings pose health risks, the DNR may develop plans and programs to reduce emissions at animal feeding operations.
The department convened workgroups on best management practices, air emissions characterization, and dispersion modeling as part of a continuing effort to develop a working understanding of the technical issues involved in air quality concerns associated with AFOs. Findings and recommendations of the workgroups have been compiled into a report.