Environmental commission to vote on water rules

Bacteria Found in Drinking Water Mason City, IA

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The commission that oversees water quality regulations in Iowa is considering adoption of new rules that align state regulations with those imposed by the federal Clean Water Act.

The Environmental Protection Commission’s proposed rules primarily give the Iowa Department of Natural Resources authority to issue permits that strictly regulate manure handling for livestock farms shown to discharge manure into waterways.

Permits aren’t required, however, and environmental groups say the rules are too weak and too friendly to livestock farms.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement want all farms with spills to be required to get a permit. The group also wants five members of the nine-member governor-appointed commission to abstain from voting because they have financial interest in livestock farming.

A vote on the rules is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

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