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Proposal to Rescind the Voluntary Operating Permit Rules and Remove Conditional Permit References
Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The DNR is requesting informal public input on a draft proposal to rescind rules for voluntary operating permits (VOPs) and to remove rule references to conditional permits.


In the mid-1990s, the DNR developed the VOP program to assist facilities that wanted to take voluntary limitations on emissions and operations to avoid having to obtain a federal Title V operating permit. DNR’s Air Construction Permit program can also provide a mechanism to establish limits to remain below the Title V operating permit program thresholds.


An Executive Order 80 stakeholder group was formed to make recommendations on the VOP program. The stakeholder group recommended to the Environmental Protection Commission that the VOP rules be rescinded by December 31, 2014. The stakeholder group further recommended that the DNR work with each of the 18 VOP holders on an individual basis to assist them in utilizing other existing permitting options that meet the needs of the facility. As of March 31, 2014, only four VOP permits remain to be transitioned. Affected facilities will be transferred to an alternative permitting option and have their VOP permits rescinded by May 1, 2014. 


Conditional permits were added to the Iowa Code in the 1970s to facilitate electric utility rate setting. The Iowa Utilities Board changed the rate setting requirements so that conditional permits were not needed. The Department has no record of issuing a conditional permit to an electric utility. Senate file 2197 (85th General Assembly, signed by Governor Branstad on March 14, 2014) removed the statutory provisions for conditional permits. 


How to Provide Input on the Draft Proposal

The draft proposal to rescind the VOP rules and remove references to conditional permits is available at Air Quality Stakeholder Involvement (scroll down to the Public Input section and click on “Proposal to Rescind the Voluntary Operating Permit Program and Remove Conditional Permit References”). Or, click here:


Information available for review includes:

  • Draft rulemaking package:
    • Jobs Impact Statement
    • Fiscal Impact Statement
    • Notice of Intended Action 

The DNR is requesting public input on all aspects of the draft proposal. Please provide written comments* and suggestions to Wendy Walker, Iowa DNR Air Quality Bureau, by Wednesday, April 16, as follows: 



Fax: (515) 725-9501

Mail or Hand-delivery: DNR Air Quality Bureau, 7900 Hickman Road, Suite 1, Windsor Heights, Iowa, 50324


For more information, please contact Wendy Walker at the e-mail address noted above or by phone at (515) 725-9570.


*This informal comment period is an opportunity for stakeholders to assist the DNR in developing the rule proposal. After considering public input, the DNR will determine whether to proceed with the rule making and present a proposal to the Environmental Protection Commission (Commission). The public may also provide comments on the proposal at the Commission meeting. If the Commission approves the proposal for public comment, the Notice of Intended Action will be published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin. The Notice's publication will initiate a formal public comment period of at least 30 days. The DNR will hold a public hearing during the public comment period.

This list serve article is intended for consultants, industries, environmental groups, general public, and other entities regulated under the Clean Air Act. It was written by the DNR Air Quality Bureau to share regulatory news, program updates and technical guidance.