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SPECIAL NOTICE: Iowa DNR suspended beach monitoring this week for the safety of field staff due to excessive heat. Prior to the suspension of the monitoring, four beaches were sampled: Bobwhite, Nine Eagles, Rock Creek, and Viking. All beaches under advisory last week that were not tested this week will remain under advisory until 9/1. All beaches without advisories last week are now categorized as 'Insufficient Data.' 

USACE beach advisories are current.

There are 15 beach advisories for the week of 8/25

13 Beaches with an E. coli Advisory:
Backbone Beach (Dundee, Delaware County, IA)*
Crandall's Beach (Big Spirit Lake, Spirit Lake, Dickinson County, IA)*
Emerson Bay Beach (West Okoboji Lake, Milford, Dickinson County, IA)*
Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)*
Lake Keomah Beach (Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, IA)*
Lake Macbride (Solon, Johnson County, IA)*
Lake Manawa Beach (Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, IA)*
Lower Pine Lake Beach (Eldora, Hardin County, IA)*
Nine Eagles Beach (Davis City, Decatur County, IA)*
North Overlook Beach (Lake Red Rock, Pella, Marion County, IA)**
Sugar Bottom Campground Beach (Coralville Lake, Coralville, Johnson County, IA)**
Union Grove Beach (Gladbrook ,Tama County, IA)*
Whitebreast Beach (Lake Red Rock, Pella, Marion County, IA)**

2 Beaches with a Microcystin Advisory:
Brushy Creek Beach (Lehigh, Webster County, IA)*
Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)*

2 City and County Beaches exceed the state’s advisory threshold for E. coli.*
View the map on our website to see where they are.

*Data from the Iowa DNR State Park Beach Monitoring Program
**Data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District

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The tale of two petitions: EPA chooses studies over CAFO rule changes

Last week, U.S. EPA denied two petitions seeking stronger rules governing concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) filed by national and local environmental groups. The petitions sought changes to federal rules that would have required more CAFOs to obtain Clean Water Act permits. CAFOs are mostly unregulated because weak rules often allow them to fall under the agriculture stormwater exemption of the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act specifically lists CAFOs as “point sources” that require discharge permits, but court decisions have held that only CAFOs with actual discharges require Clean Water Act permits. Most CAFOs claim not to discharge at all, so they do not get permits. That is true in Iowa where a very small portion of CAFOs have permits, but other states have taken varying approaches to permitting that gives them more oversight of facilities.

Rather than adopt the changes, EPA proposed to create a subcommittee of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee. The full committee provides advice to EPA on a range of issues, and the new subcommittee will focus on “the impact of CAFOs on water quality.” The EPA denials argued the subcommittee process would be more effective than adopting regulations that would surely be challenged.  

The denial of the petitions means that EPA will not take further action to regulate CAFOs in the short term, despite the petitions explaining in detail why properly managing manure – and keeping it out of the water – is critical to protect water quality. In response to the petition denials, Food & Water Watch and Earthjustice noted the urgency of addressing this type of pollution and the legal authority under the Clean Water Act to do so. Until government agencies and lawmakers have the political nerve to take action, Iowans and our downstream neighbors will continue to suffer from pervasive manure pollution in our waterways.


Supreme Beef withdraws NMP from DNR approval process

Supreme Beef LLC has withdrawn its latest Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) from the DNR approval process. This follows a recent public meeting and submission of initial public comments by IEC that criticized the NMP for miscalculating the manure’s nutrient content, allowing overapplication of manure to crop land, and assuming conservation practices that did not exist. 

Supreme Beef cannot land-apply manure from its 39-million gallon storage basin until it has an approved plan; it will need to submit a new NMP and go through the public comment process again. 

Register for Coal in Siouxland: Water, Air, & Your Health on Sept. 7

Join IEC and partners for an educational meeting and community listening session on September 7 to raise awareness of the health and pollution issues caused by MidAmerican Energy Company’s coal plants in Woodbury County.

Council policy experts will share information about the water and air quality hazards of the local coal units, engage with community members impacted by coal pollution, and share how to take action that speeds the clean energy transition in Siouxland.

Refreshments will be provided. RSVP to secure your seat and invite a friend!

Become a River Citizen, get free Mississippi River Trivia

River Citizens are people who want to clean up and protect our country's greatest River. Whether in armchairs or wading boots, River Citizens protect the Mississippi River by speaking on its behalf and caring for it in simple ways that make a big difference.

Sign up now to become a River Citizen and get a free Mississippi River Trivia e-book! It's a fun way to jump in and learn more about the Mississippi River, use in the classroom, or add some local fun to trivia night!

Become a River Citizen for free at  1Mississippi.org.


What's new in Iowa's water news:

Extreme drought develops in northeast Iowa (Iowa Capital Dispatch)
Farmers worry heatwave and wind will negatively impact corn crop (Iowa Public Radio)
Greene County tributary material identified as hog manure, public asked to avoid the area (Iowa DNR)
Ten months later, no movement on Cedar River water quality improvement plan decision (Gazette)
Manchester man fined for campground construction in floodplain (Iowa Capital Dispatch) 
Iowa Rivers Revival's cleanup at Fourmile Fest (Bleeding Heartland) 

Upcoming water events:                              

Almost Full Moon Night Paddle – Butler Co. - August 26
• Stand Up Paddleboard Demonstration – Cass Co. - August 26
• Paddle in the Park – Des Moines Co. - August 26
River Walk – Story Co. - August 26
Yaks and Brews – Buchanan Co. - August 26 
12th Annual Pelican Festival – Johnson Co. - August 27
Annual Catfish Classic – Clinton Co. - August 27
FLOTSAM! River Circus - Scott Co. - August 27
Sunset Eco Cruise – Clinton Co. - August 31


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Iowa Environmental Council
505 Fifth Ave., Suite 850 
 Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2317
515-244-1194 | iecmail@iaenvironment.org

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