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Rules and Planning

The Air Quality Bureau develops standards and regulations to protect human health and the natural environment and promote compliance with environmental protection requirements through cooperative work with Iowa citizens, interest groups, industry, and communities.

A major component of this process is the development of rules. The rule making staff develops air quality rules consistent with statutory authority that are protective of Iowan’s interest in having clean air to breathe. They also develop implementation plans to ensure that the National Ambient Air Quality Standards are met.

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Rule Making - General Information

Rule Making - Recently Completed

The Environmental Protection Commission (Commission) approved the final air quality rulemaking known as Regulatory Certainty Part 4. The Commission approved the final rules after a public comment period and public hearing. No changes from the Notice of Intended Action were made.

The Adopted and Filed Rulemaking will be published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin on June 17, 2020, along with updates to 567 Iowa Administrative Code (IAC). If approved by the Legislature's Administrative Rules Review Committee, the rule changes published in the IAC will become effective on July 22, 2020.

Summary of Rule Changes

The rule changes continue previous efforts to improve rules for air quality programs.

Facilitate Electronic Reporting for EASY Air

The rule changes will help facilitate the Iowa DNR's launch of the Iowa Environmental Application System - EASY Air. EASY Air is a new online electronic method for submitting air quality permit applications, registrations, notifications, and template applications and is expected to make application preparation easier, improve customer service and speed the Iowa DNR's ability to issue permits while increasing data accuracy and cutting costs.

Clarify Requirements for Industrial Anaerobic Lagoons

The final rules update the definition of "anaerobic lagoon" to clarify that this definition is applicable to only air quality requirements. Other Iowa DNR regulations, such as those for wastewater, may have different meanings for the term "anaerobic lagoon" that are specific to that particular program area. The rule changes also include removing two operating limits for industrial anaerobic lagoons and adding the siting requirement that in in Iowa Code section 455.134.

Ensure Consistency with Federal Regulations

Additionally, the rule updates adopt changes to the most current EPA methods for measuring air pollutant emissions (stack testing and continuous monitoring), the revised definition of "volatile organic compounds" (also known as "VOC"), and updated federal modeling guidelines used for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. The final rules also include adoption of revisions to federal new source performance standards (NSPS) and air toxics standards (also known as National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants or NESHAP).

Please direct questions or comments to Christine Paulson by email at Christine.Paulson@dnr.iowa.gov or by phone at 515-725-9510.