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Iowa's natural resources plates include the state bird and flower, pheasant, eagle, buck and a Brook trout. Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
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Experience Iowa's natural beauty and all the fun our state parks offer. Make your online reservation for state park cabins, camping sites, shelters and lodges.
Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
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Clean Water Act rules allow for site-specific water quality criteria approved by the EPA. Site-specific water quality criteria are established when localized water quality parameters are used to derive criteria in accordance with Iowa’s water quality standards (567 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 61). For example, the copper biotic ligand model (BLM) may be used to establish site-specific copper criteria as described in the rule-referenced Implementation Procedure for Copper BLM.
Site-specific water quality criteria implemented in Iowa are shown below.
The Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) has amended Chapter 61 to update aquatic life water quality criteria for selected metals. The final rule will be effective November 11, 2020. Public comments were addressed in a public participation responsiveness summary.
Questions regarding the new water quality criteria can be directed to Katie Greenstein at 515-490-2095 or email@example.com.
Antidegradation refers to federal regulations designed to maintain and protect high quality waters and existing water quality in other waters from unnecessary pollution. For further information please visit the Antidegradation web page.
Under Iowa's Water Quality Standards it is presumed that all perennial streams and rivers are attaining the highest level of recreation and aquatic life uses and should be protected for activities such as fishing and swimming. A Use Assessment and Use Attainability Analysis (UA/UAA) is a process of gathering field data and assessing the available information to determine if a stream is capable of supporting the highest level of recreation and aquatic life uses, and if not assign a more appropriate recreational and aquatic life use classification.
Assessing Iowa Stream Uses Fact Sheet
Fact sheet explaining UA/UAAs and Designated Uses
Surface Water Classification Document
Rule Referenced Document containing a list of Designated Stream in Iowa and their use classifications.
Use Assessment/Use Attainability Analysis Search
This database provides the opportunity to view the department's recommended use designations and supporting information.
Warm Water Stream Use Designation Protocol
Cold Water Protocol
Recreational Use Assessment and Attainability Analysis Protocol
Help us assess Iowa's streams: take the survey
The DNR is asking for your input on how you recreate in Iowa's streams as we complete recreational assessments on streams in the state. Please take our online survey to list the streams you use, what activities you use them for and where you access the streams. The DNR will factor the results from the survey into its decision making for applying recreation-based stream designations to Iowa's waters. These assessments are part of classifying recreational stream uses in the state, and will help determine the appropriate level of protection for the stream.
US Environmental Protection Agency's Action Letter for Batch 4
Document containing EPA's review of Batch 4 UAA's.
61.3(3) Table 1 and General Water Quality Criteria described in 61.3(2). Numerical criteria apply to designated waters and general water quality criteria are applicable to all surface waters including general use and designated use waters. The following documents share information about specific criteria.
Chloride and Sulfate Criteria
Copper Criteria Documents
Implementation Procedure for Copper BLM
Aquatic Life Ambient Freshwater Quality Criteria - Copper 2007 Revision (EPA-822-R-07-001), February 2007
Streamlined Water-Effect Ratio Procedure for Discharges of Copper (EPA-822-R-01-005), March 2001
Interim Guidance on Determination and Use of Water-Effect Ratios for Metals (EPA-823-B-94-001), February 22, 1994
Under the Clean Water Act, a state shall from time-to-time hold public meetings for the purpose of reviewing applicable water quality standards and, as appropriate, modifying and adopting standards. See Chapter 61: Water Quality Standards. This review includes but is not necessarily limited to: Designated Uses, Criteria, and Antidegradation.