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EcoNews Wire

Environmental news about water quality, air quality, waste management, energy and related topics including Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) agenda and minutes. EcoNewsWire is published every Thursday and will be posted on our website as both news releases and below for archival purposes.

EcoNewsWire Article Archive

New Funds Available for Water Quality Improvement
Thursday, August 29, 2013 by Iowa DNR

DES MOINES — A new program focused on preventing and cleaning up polluted runoff from city streets and agricultural land will soon award more than $12 million to 22 Iowa communities. The Water Resource Restoration Sponsored Projects effort, a new source of funding for water quality improvement, is seeking public comment on the 22 projects it selected out of 32 applicants.

“This new program will provide approximately $12.7 million to help local Iowa communities protect streams, lakes and wetlands – water resources that are important to them,” said Chuck Gipp, DNR director. “On a larger scale, the practices to be funded will reduce nutrients that travel down the Mississippi River and contribute to the hypoxic dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The funding for the new program comes from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), a loan fund for wastewater and other water quality projects.

On a typical CWSRF loan, the wastewater utility borrows money and repays it plus interest and fees. On a CWSRF loan with a sponsored project, a portion of the money that the utility normally would have paid in interest goes toward an additional watershed-based water quality project. Through an interest rate adjustment, the utility’s ratepayers get both wastewater and watershed projects for the cost of one.

“The Iowa Finance Authority is proud to partner with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to administer the State Revolving Fund,” said Dave Jamison, Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director. “This program is yet another way that the State Revolving Fund is helping to ensure quality water for Iowans for generations to come.”

The locally-based projects will also bring together different groups and organizations in the community to improve water quality.

“On many of these projects, there will be unique partnerships between the communities and water quality organizations, such as soil and water conservation districts, county conservation boards and watershed management authorities,” said Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. “This program will promote watershed planning and approaches that reduce the environmental impact from both urban and agricultural areas of the state.”

The DNR’s recommendations for projects to be funded are currently available for public review and comment. Citizens can submit their comments at a Sept. 9 public meeting, scheduled for 1 p.m. at the DNR office at 401 SW Seventh St. in Des Moines. The recommendations will be presented for approval to the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission on Oct. 15. Information on the Water Resource Restoration Sponsored Projects effort is posted online at

The recommendations and tentative awards include the following:




City of Blakesburg

  $ 45,000

Address gully erosion with grade stabilization

City of Buffalo


Bank stabilization in park on Mississippi River

City of Cedar Rapids


Stabilization of Noelridge Park tributary to McLoud Run and Indian Creek

City of Clinton


Infiltrate stormwater to reduce contaminants and runoff to combined sewer system

City of Coggon


Cost-sharing of ag practices with the Soil and Water Conservation District

City of Collins


Grassed waterway and conservation buffer to address runoff from ag land

City of Davenport


Permeable paving on streets and sidewalks, use of street trees

City of Donnellson


Includes urban practices and cost-sharing of ag practices with the Soil and Water Conservation District

City of Durant


Realignment of storm sewers to convey storm water to constructed wetlands, streambank stabilization

City of Fort Dodge


Streambank stabilization on Soldier Creek and improvements related to Badger Lake Watershed plan

City of Granger


Streambank stabilization, bioswale with native vegetation

City of Keokuk


Infiltration of storm water using permeable paving to reduce runoff to combined sewers

City of Kingsley


Infiltrate storm water in rain gardens, bioswales

City of Laurens


Infiltration of urban storm water via bioswales

City of Lohrville


Infiltrate storm water in rain gardens, bioswales, retention practices

City of Monona


Urban practices to prevent erosion and runoff

City of New London


Streambank stabilization, erosion control practices on ag land, urban bioretention

City of Ottumwa


Increase infiltration of storm water through soil quality restoration, decrease streambank erosion

City of Prairie City


Treat urban storm water in bioswale with bioretention cells, bioretention pond

City of Seymour


Infiltration of urban storm water via bioswales

City of Sioux City


Streambank and streambed stabilization along with reorientation of storm sewer outlets and study of additional upland practices

Wastewater Reclamation Authority


Restoration of riparian buffer and flood plain along Four Mile Creek