Comment deadline extended on Iowa DNR response to EPA CAFO report

Comment deadline extended on Iowa DNR response to EPA CAFO report

Posted Oct. 15, 2012


The Environmental Protection Agency has extended the public comment period on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ response to EPA’s initial findings from its informal investigation of the DNR’s permit and compliance program for concentrated animal feeding operations.

Public comments will now be accepted through Oct. 31. The original deadline was Oct. 17.

The DNR submitted its response to EPA outlining a number of actions to improve its animal feeding operations program on Sept. 11, 2012.

On July 12, 2012, EPA released a report outlining its initial findings, which identified deficiencies in the DNR’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program that the state agency will need to correct.  Among other findings, EPA found that the DNR does not have an adequate program to assess whether unpermitted CAFOs need NPDES permits. The findings also note that the DNR must clarify its authority to issue NPDES permits to confinement (roofed) CAFOs that discharge. EPA also found that in a number of cases involving Clean Water Act (CWA) violations, the DNR failed to take timely and adequate enforcement actions, and assess adequate penalties.

EPA’s investigation was carried out in response to a petition for withdrawal of the NPDES program authorization from IDNR that was filed in 2007 by the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Sierra Club and the Environmental Integrity Project. Federal regulations allow interested parties to file these petitions when they are concerned that a state is not meeting the minimum NPDES program requirements.

Written comments must be sent topollard.stephen@epa.govor mailed and postmarked on or beforeOct. 31, 2012, to Stephen Pollard, Water Enforcement Branch, EPA Region 7, 901 N. 5th Street, Kansas City, KS 66101.

IDNR’s response and EPA’s report are available