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Administrative Rules
The Iowa Administrative Procedure Act, Iowa Code Chapter 17A, requires each state agency to promulgate rules for the operation of its programs. The rulemaking process increases agency accountability to the public, allows public participation in the formulation of rules, and provides legislative oversight for program operations.

Prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any rule, an agency must publish a “Notice of Intended Action,” which is published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin.  Current Notices of Intended Action also are published on the following website: https://rules.iowa.gov/

Each “Notice of Intended Action” includes a brief explanation of the principle reasons for the rule making as well as the text of the proposed rule.  

Interested persons may submit written comments regarding the proposed rules within time frames set forth in the Notice of Intended Action. At least 20 days must be allowed for the submission of written comments or to request an oral presentation. A proposed rule must be adopted within one hundred eighty days following either publication of the Notice of Intended Action or the last date when oral presentations are allowed regarding the rule.  

Following publication of the Notice of Intended Action, the comment period, and adoption, final rules are published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin and in the Iowa Administrative Code (IAC).  Rules generally become effective thirty-five days after filing of the final adopted rule.  

Additional general information regarding the rule making process is located on the Iowa General Assembly Website at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/law/administrativeRules/howDoRulesWork and at https://rules.iowa.gov/info/rules-overview. Additional information regarding rules is located at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/law/administrativeRules/additionalInfo

Each agency is required by Executive Order to submit an annual Regulatory Plan detailing rulemaking initiatives anticipated during the upcoming fiscal year. The Department’s Regulatory Plan for State Fiscal Year 2019 covers the period from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, and is located at Regulatory Plan for State Fiscal Year 2020.

Iowa Code section 17A.7(2) requires each agency to conduct an ongoing review of rules.

Description of Rules:

All chapters of the IAC relevant to the DNR are available on the Iowa General Assembly website at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/law/administrativeRules. Summaries of the Department’s rules have been provided below.  The Department’s docket of pending rulemaking proceedings: Current Rules Docket.


These rules are contained in Chapters 1 to 11 and 14. These rules provide basic organizational information, as well as complaint and record handling procedures. The rules also define the DNR's rule-making process, including evaluation of waivers and variances and petitions for rule-making; contested cases proceedings; service contracting and public improvement contracting processes; and declaratory rulings. A few special rules manage the DNR's documentation of groundwater hazards, the Nature Store, and the DNR's concession contracts. The Director has the authority to adopt, modify or repeal these rules.


For additional information:

General Counsel, Tamara McIntosh
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Wallace State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319
515-725-8202 (fax) 
Email: Tamara.McIntosh@dnr.iowa.gov