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General Information about Iowa's Wastewater and NPDES Rules
The Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) contains several chapters regulating the direct discharge of wastewater to waters of the state. The chapters containing most of the wastewater permit regulations are as follows:
Rules regarding NPDES permits for Animal Feeding Operations (Chapter 65) can be found on the
Animal Feeding Operations page. Rules regarding onsite (private) wastewater systems (Chapters 68, 69, and 93) can be found on the Private Septic Systems page. The Water Quality Standards (Chapter 61) can be found on the Water Quality Standards page.
The chapters above are regularly updated through the state's rulemaking process. Please refer to the Current NPDES Rulemaking Actions section below for more information on any proposed rule changes.
Current NPDES Rulemaking Actions
General Permits: The NPDES Section has drafted two new general permits, #8 for Hydrostatic Test water, and #9 for Dewatering. General Permits #8 and #9 are not effective yet, and no discharges are authorized under the permits at this time. Please refer to the linked general permit pages for more information.
Past NPDES Rulemaking Actions
Wastewater Cleanup Rulemaking:
Disadvantaged Community Rule: The disadvantaged community rule proposed in 2012 became effective on January 16, 2013. This rule implements Iowa Code 455B.199B, as modified by Senate File 407 (SF407). The code section and senate file establish criteria that DNR must use to determine if ratepayers or a community will experience substantial and widespread economic and social impact and qualify as disadvantaged as a result of complying with wastewater regulations. Please see the Rural Community Sewers page for more information on the disadvantaged community rule. For more information regarding the disadvantaged community rule and on how to qualify for disadvantaged status, please contact Courtney Cswercko at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary of Rulemaking Procedures
When the NPDES Section is considering a change to the wastewater rules, a draft rule package is developed and a public meeting is scheduled to gather initial stakeholder input on the draft rules. After the initial stakeholder comments are incorporated into the draft rules, the NPDES Section prepares an internal rulemaking package for review by DNR Legal staff and the Governor's Office. Once DNR Legal staff and the Governor's office have reviewed and approved the proposed rule, the rulemaking package is presented to the
Iowa DNR Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) for approval as a Notice of Intended Action. If approved by the EPC, it is published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin (IAB) as a Notice of Intended Action (NOIA). Once the NOIA is published, the rule is discussed at the next legislative Administrative Rules Review Committee (ARRC) meeting. After a public comment period in which hearings are held and comments are accepted, the proposed rule is presented to the EPC for approval as a Final Rule. If a final rule is approved by the EPC, after consideration of public comments, it is published in the Administrative Bulletin as a Final Rule. The final rule will be presented to the ARRC after it is published and before it becomes effective. Please see the summary steps below:
Draft rule package prepared - public meeting on draft rule - comments incorporated into draft rule - DNR Legal review - Governor's Office review - presentation of NOIA to the EPC - NOIA publication in the IAB - ARRC review of NOIA - public comment period - responsiveness summary prepared - presentation of Final Rule to EPC - Final Rule publication in the IAB - ARRC review of Final Rule - Final Rule becomes effective
For more information regarding the rulemaking procedure and the wastewater rules, please contact Eric Wiklund at 515-725-0313 or
email@example.com or Courtney Cswercko at 515-725-8411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.