The Iowa Department of Natural Resources released the draft 2020 303(d) Impaired Waters List for the state of Iowa on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. The list is made up of lakes, wetlands, streams, and rivers that do not meet all state water quality standards.
Review of the list reveals that of the 750 water segments tested by IDNR staff for the 2020 report, more than half (58%) are impaired for a variety of reasons such as indicator bacteria, turbidity, pH, and algae.
While the total number of impairments is down from 2018, the proportion of waters assessed as impaired increased.
The DNR is accepting public comments on the draft list now through January 1, 2021. DNR may modify the list based on public comments and must respond to each comment in writing.
Following the end of the public comment period and any modifications, the revised list will be sent to U.S. EPA for review and approval or disapproval.
IEC has submitted comments to the DNR. IEC calls out the high proportion of assessed waters that are impaired, the high proportion of primary recreational waters that are impaired, the misleading and inconclusive reporting on the state’s assessment, the state’s lack of numeric nutrient and microcystin criteria, and delay in the release of the list.
You are encouraged to submit comments to the DNR for their consideration. You can do this in several ways:
Comments can be emailed to IRcomment@dnr.iowa.gov or using the form on the right by entering your own text in the 'Message' box. We highlihy recommend you personalize your comments in some way before submitting. Comments may also be mailed to:
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Attention: IR Comments
Water Quality Monitoring & Assessment Section
Wallace State Office Building
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
We appreciate your time and interest in submitting comments on this important topic.
Please forward this email to friends in family in Iowa who might be interested.