Public comments needed to protect hundreds of Iowa streams

The Iowa Environmental Council sent out an action alert on water quality last Friday. Excerpt:

As you know, the 2010 legislative session ended this past Tuesday.  Thanks to your emails to your elected officials,

   * we were able to stop a dirty water bill, which would have exempted many farmers from having to have adequate storage for animal manure over the winter months, and

   * final Iowa rules protecting Iowa lakes and rivers from further degradation (Antidegradation Rules) survived their final hurdle in the legislative ARRC committee.

Also, your emails also stopped the Iowa DNR from omitting hundreds of lakes, and the people swimming and recreating in them, from protection from excess nutrient pollution.

Your emails regarding these issues made a big impact on decision makers!

But our work is not over. The third round of stream assessments has been completed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. As a result, they are proposing to downgrade protections for 408 streams or stream segments!

Please go to our website at… to learn how you can help maintain water quality protections for hundreds of Iowa streams and stream segments.

It’s frustrating that even though Democrats control of the Iowa legislature, environmental advocates needed to mobilize against that “dirty water” bill and lobby hard to get Iowa’s new anti-degradation rules through the legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee. Now we have to worry about the DNR under a Democratic administration downgrading protection for streams when Iowa is already one of the worst states for water quality.

Please take two minutes to submit a public comment on this issue. The Iowa Environmental Council has more background information here, including public hearing dates and times, a link to a map of the affected stream segments, as well as the mailing address, fax number and e-mail of the relevant DNR official. Comments must be received by April 30.

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