Flood Plain Management Rules & Regulations

Chapter 70 – Scope of Title—Definitions—Forms—Rules of Practice

These rules are intended to implement Iowa Code Sections 17A.3, 455B.105, 459.102, and 481A.15 and Iowa Code chapter 455B, division III, part 4.  Definitions for flood plain management and dam safety terms are included in this chapter as well as the process for requesting approval of a flood plain development permit.  This chapter discusses procedures for review of applications and the administrative process for approving or denying a project.

Chapter 71 – Flood Plain or Floodway Development—When Approval is Required

These rules are intended to implement Iowa Code chapter 455B, division III, part 4; and Iowa Code sections 459.102, 459.301 and 481.15.  While Iowa Code 455B states that the Iowa DNR has authority over all flood plains in the state of Iowa, this chapter contains and clarifies the administrative thresholds for when approval from the Iowa DNR is obtained for work in the flood plain or floodway.  There are different administrative thresholds for different project types:  Bridges, culverts, temporary stream crossings, road embankments, channel changes, dams, levees, dikes, waster or water treatment facilities, sanitary landfills, buildings, fill pipeline crossings, stream bank protective devices, boat docks, excavations, and miscellaneous structures, obstructions or deposits.

Chapter 72 – Criteria for Approval

These rules are intended to implement Iowa Code sections 455B.261, 455B.262, 455B.263, 455B.264, 455B.275, 455B.277, 459.102 and 459.301.  This chapter contains the specific requirements that must be met for approval of a project or activity in a flood plain or floodway for the entire list of project types in 567-71.

Chapter 73 – Use, Maintenance, Removal, Inspections, and Safety of Dams

The rules in this chapter are intended to implement Iowa Code sections 109.15, 455B.275, 455B.277, 455B.264 and 17A.12.  This chapter covers approval procedures for dam operating plans, raising or lowering of impoundment levels, abandonment of dams, and removal of dams.  Also covered are the scope, purposes and procedures for a dam safety inspection program.


This chapter is currently unused.

Chapter 75 – Management of Specific Flood Plain Areas

These rules are intended to implement Iowa Code sections 455B.262, 455B.263, 455B.264, 455B.275 to 455B.279(2).  The Iowa DNR has jurisdiction over all flood plains and floodways in the state to promote the protection of life and property from floods and to promote the orderly development and wise use of the flood plains of the state.  This chapter discusses 3 different types of regulation including issuance of department flood plain management orders, approval of locally adopted flood plain management ordinances, and approval of development on a case-by-case basis.  Flooding characteristics, establishment of a floodway, minimum standards for flood plain and floodway uses and preexisting nonconforming development and associated uses are covered.  The process for the delegation of authority to local governments by approval of local regulations and the review and approval of variances from local regulations is covered.

Waivers from Administrative Rules
Rulemaking Actions

The Administrative Procedures Act, Iowa Code chapter 17A, requires all state agencies to promulgate rules for the operation of their programs. The rulemaking process increases agencies’ accountability to the public, allows public participation in the formulation of rules, and provides legislative oversight for program operations. 

Below are the recent rulemaking activities that are being considered, have been proposed, or are in the process of being adopted by the DNR for the chapters administered by the Flood Plain Management & Dam Safety section. Many of these proposals are a direct result of the comprehensive five year rule review required by 17A.7(2).

to Iowa Administrative Code 567-Chapters 70, 71, 72, and 73
Iowa Department of Natural Resources

The Notice of Intended Action for updates to the Dam Safety Program rules have been approved by the Environmental Protection Commission.  

NOIA - Dam Safety Rules


Public Comment

Any interested person may submit comments concerning this proposed rule making. Written comments in response to this rule making must be received by the Department no later than 4:30 p.m. on July 13.

Comments should be directed to:

Jonathan Garton
Iowa DNR Floodplain and Dam Safety Section
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

Email: jonathan.garton@dnr.iowa.gov

Public Hearing

A public hearing at which persons may present their views orally or in writing will be held by conference call on July 12 from 2-3pm. Persons who wish to attend the conference call should contact Jonathan Garton at jonathan.garton@dnr.iowa.gov. A conference call number will be provided prior to the hearing. Persons who wish to make oral comments at the conference call public hearing must submit a request to Jonathan Garton prior to the hearing to facilitate an orderly hearing.


There are no finalized rulemakings at this time.