8 Beaches with an E. coli-related Advisory: Backbone Beach (Dundee, Delaware County, IA)* Clear Lake Beach (Clear Lake, Cerro Gordo County, IA)* Emerson Bay Beach (West Okoboji Lake, Milford, Dickinson County, IA)* McIntosh Woods Beach (Clear Lake, Ventura, Cerro Gordo County, IA)* Nine Eagles Beach (Davis City, Decatur County, IA)* North Overlook Beach (Lake Red Rock, Pella, Marion County, IA)** Union Grove Beach (Gladbrook, Tama County, IA)* Whitebreast Beach (Lake Red Rock, Pella, Marion County, IA)**
1 Beach with a Microcystin-related Advisory: Marble Beach 15.19 μg/L (Big Spirit Lake, Spirit Lake, Dickinson County, IA)*
*Data from the Iowa DNR State Park Beach Monitoring Program **Data from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District
Note: Lake Macbride Beach and Pleasant Creek Lake Beach were not sampled due to inaccessibility this week because of continued storm clean-up.
EPA Rolls Back Effluent Limits for Power Plants
Which Will Worsen Water Quality
On August 31, EPA announced it was finalizing the “Steam Electric Reconsideration Rule” – adopting a proposal that rolls back the requirements limiting toxic discharges from coal power plants. IEC believes this change is misguided, will worsen water quality, and is a clear attempt to prop up dirty and expensive coal power plants.
The new rule allows more time for facilities to comply with the discharge requirements, on top of an existing delay to comply with a standard adopted in 2015. It exempts facilities that are scheduled to retire soon or that will switch fuel sources, allowing them to continue discharging toxic metals at the same rate for years. It also changes the technology the power plants have to install.
EPA adopted standards for the exact same discharges in 2015, but later extended the compliance date until the completion of the new rule – which provides a further extension for compliance. The approach of delaying implementation of rules and adopting weaker standards is a tactic we have seen before. “ It is always unfortunate whenever we see backsliding of environmental standards,” said IEC Energy and Climate Policy Specialist Steve Guyer. “This is especially troubling when we just keep kicking the compliance date tin can down the road.”
Busy Labor Day weekend expected on Iowa waters and at state parks
The Iowa DNR is anticipating thousands of Iowans will be heading to Iowa lakes, rivers, and parks this holiday weekend. Their news release this week included valuable resources on boating safety, beach/swimming safety, state parks/campgrounds safety, and paddling safety. When it comes to E.coli and microcystin safety, remember to practice "when in doubt, stay out" if the water looks questionable.
Have you been looking for a way to help Iowa’s water?
Here’s your chance – attend Pro H2O
We are less than one week away from this year's Pro H2O event. We hope you will join us for an exciting evening of celebration, awards, live music, and more! We are also partnering with breweries from around the state that you can pick up beer and food from to enjoy while you tune in to IEC's annual fundraising event to support clean water policy and initiatives around the state. Cocktail tickets should be ordered by September 7. All tickets can be purchased here.