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State agencies are responsible for implementing laws passed by the Iowa General Assembly. The Department of Natural Resources writes rules to implement the laws. The following links can help you find specific sections of administrative rules or laws governing animal feeding operations.
You can also find an explanation of the rule process and how the DNR provides public notice and seeks public comment before proposed rules are finalized.
Or, find more information about federal rules governing concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
The Iowa Administrative Code includes all rules written by state agencies, including the Iowa Department of Natural Resources or DNR. These rules are written to administer state laws.
Rules for animal feeding operations are found in Chapter 65 under the Environmental Protection Commission (agency identification number 567). there are also a few rules applicable to animal feeding operations located in Chapters 32, 60, 61, 63 and 64.
To look at current rules:
When new rules are proposed, the DNR seeks public input by holding one or more public hearings. Anyone who wants to comment on the rule proposal can attend a public hearing and make a comment. Or, they can submit written comments to the appropriate person at the DNR provided the comments are received before the closing date for public input.
After public hearings close, the DNR summarizes public comments and may make changes in the proposed rule based on those comments.
Animal Feeding Operations Proposed Rule Changes: DNR will ask for a final decision on proposed changes to Chapter 65 – Animal Feeding Operations at the Oct. 18 meeting of the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC).The proposed rule incorporates recent legislation, allows marketing solids from open feedlots as bulk dry animal nutrients, provides clarification of requirements in the rules, and repeals unnecessary and outdated rules, lists and internet addresses. Public hearings were held from May 23 to June 3.
Find the EPC agenda brief and proposed rule changes under item #6 in the Meeting Materials and
Packet, using the bookmarks on the left.
Public Comments and DNR's Responsiveness Summary from Hearings for Proposed AFO Rule ChangesPublic hearings were held at 6 locations to collect comments from the public on proposed rule changes for animal feeding operations. The hearings were held at Windsor Heights on May 23, Carroll on May 24, Spencer on May 25, Mason City on May 26, Ainsworth on May 31 and Calmar on June 3. Find a summary of all comments received and DNR's response to those comments in the Responsiveness Summary.
The nine-member Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) provides policy oversight for Iowa's environmental protection efforts. The EPC must approve rule changes proposed by the DNR.
Generally the EPC will see a rule proposal three times. First, as an "information item" and secondly as a decision item or "Notice of Intended Action." Finally, after public comment and public hearings, the EPC can decide to approve, modify or disapprove the final rule. Changes can and do occur in proposed rules until the final rule has been approved by the Environmental Protection Commission and published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin.
Before the DNR's rules are adopted, they are published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin as a "Notice of Intended Action." Any interested person may submit comments on the proposed rules within time frames set forth in the notice. All notices must allow at least 20 days for people to submit comments or to request an oral presentation.
The Iowa Administrative Bulletin is the official notice of all changes to the rules of the Administrative Code and all other documents which pertain to the business of the Administrative Rules Review Committee.
The DNR may not adopt the rules until 35 days after the date the notice of intended action is published. Following notice and adoption, the final rules are again published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin. They become effective at a date specified with the final rule. Normally the DNR must allow at least 35 days from the date of publication for people to prepare to implement the rules.
The Iowa Code includes all laws passed by the Iowa General Assembly. To find the specific section of Iowa Code relating to animal feeding operations:
As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. This program includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) rule.
In Iowa, EPA delegates enforcement of the NPDES program to the DNR. The DNR's NPDES section issues NPDES permits and storm water permits to animal feeding operations. The NPDES section provides technical assistance to animal feeding operation owners owners and operators.
The EPA rules and rule history are available on its CAFO website.