Solid Waste Rules Reform
The DNR's Solid Waste Section is conducting a detailed review of Iowa’s solid waste regulations in accordance with Iowa Code section 17A.7(2), which requires all state agencies to perform ongoing comprehensive five-year reviews of all administrative rules. The intent of this review is to eliminate unnecessary regulations, remove duplication and confusion, and ensure statutory authority exists for each chapter. Our goal is to ensure all solid waste administrative rules meet present and future needs, are plainly worded and logical, and carry out the laws of Iowa and federally-mandated programs without imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens upon stakeholders.
Throughout this effort, there are several principles that will continue to remain as fundamental underpinnings of what the DNR is striving to achieve:
  • However solid waste is managed in Iowa, it must be done so in a manner that is protects human health and the environment;
  • The DNR will promote transparency, consistency, and flexibility in its regulatory activities. All efforts shall be made to accomplish the regulatory objective in a manner that is least burdensome to the regulated community.
  • The DNR seeks stakeholder feedback and welcomes innovative approaches to meeting statutory obligations. All suggestions will be considered however, not all suggestions maybe accommodated.
  • The regulations will be consistent with the purpose, scope and intent of the enabling statute under which the administrative chapter was adopted and federal solid waste regulations.
  • Reducing reliance on landfills for the management of solid waste will remain a central objective. It was recognized at the time that Iowa’s principal solid waste authority (Iowa Code Chapter 455B, Division IV “Solid Waste Disposal”, Part 1 “Solid Waste”) was passed that there are environmentally preferable options for the management of solid waste other than landfilling. This remains the case today.

This administrative rule review effort supports the DNR’s Strategic Plan goals and the Governor’s goals for Iowa and how the DNR contributes to those goals. Specifically, less burdensome environmental regulations will be easier for the regulated public to navigate and for the DNR to administer, while resulting in improved program effectiveness that will allow the DNR to direct vital resources toward increased technical assistance and outreach. Expanding collaborative efforts with the regulated community will improve compliance and build stewardship of Iowa’s natural resources.

Scope of Review

The following Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) chapters have undergone a broad preliminary review by DNR staff, which took into consideration factors ranging from regulatory authority and identifying more efficient alternatives, to unintended consequences and the chapter’s affect on business and job creation.

Solid Waste Rules Reform IAC Chapters

Rulemaking Process

Because this review effort encompasses multiple chapters, spanning a broad range of complex issues, they will be divided into smaller groupings to facilitate a more manageable and phased rulemaking approach. All chapters will follow the process outlined below:

  1. External Stakeholder Rule Review. This step is intended to obtain input from external stakeholders in regard to the DNR’s initial analysis of existing rules. To facilitate an open and collaborative dialogue, the DNR will host a series of stakeholder meetings and accept written stakeholder input on the preliminary rule reviews.
  2. Discussion and Consensus Building. This step entails continued dialogue with external stakeholders to build consensus regarding proposed changes and rule revisions. After the initial stakeholder review period, the DNR will evaluate feedback received and facilitate additional stakeholder engagement as needed, to further develop supported administrative rule revisions.
  3. Draft Proposed Revisions. This step will seek public input prior to submitting the proposed revisions to the Governor’s Office for approval to proceed with formal rulemaking. All proposed rules will at this stage, go through an external stakeholder input process and be analyzed for fiscal and job impacts.
  4. Begin formal rulemaking. This process is set out in Iowa Code chapter 17A. All proposed revisions will be open for interested party review and comment prior to final adoption or repeal by the DNR, in accordance with the procedures expressed in Iowa Code chapter 17A. It should be noted that Iowa Code chapter 17A provides additional opportunities for public comment on draft rule revisions prior to any final agency action.

Stakeholder Feedback

All interested and affected parties are encouraged to provide input regarding opportunities for improvement and to voice any concerns. These reviews, as well other written stakeholder feedback submitted to the DNR, will be posted for public review to foster open dialogue and transparency regarding potential rule revisions. 

After the initial external stakeholder review period, the DNR will evaluate feedback received and facilitate additional stakeholder engagement as needed, to further develop supported administrative rule revisions.

For more information

If you have questions about the DNR’s solid waste administrative rule review process, please submit them to (include contact information).

Subscribe to Updates

Stakeholders are encouraged to sign up for the DNR’s electronic mailing list, which provides automatic updates regarding the solid waste administrative rule review (SWRR) process. Registered users will receive periodic progress updates and be notified when information is posted to the rulemaking website

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