Sunday, April 18, 2010

Iowa Antidegradation Rule - Postponed Implementation

The revised Iowa DNR antidegradation rule was effective on February 17, 2010, but has not yet been submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval. The antidegradation rule states “all unapproved facility plans for new or expanded regulated activities…shall undergo an antidegradation review if degradation is likely in the receiving water or downstream waters following the effective date of the ‘Iowa Antidegradation Implementation Procedure.’”

However, IDNR has decided to begin implementation of the new antidegradation rule after the rule is approved by EPA. Any facility plan not approved by the date EPA approves the antidegradation rule must include an antidegradation analysis if the project would result in degradation. For activities that do not require a construction permit, a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit application or amendment request an antidegradation analysis must be submitted if the activity would result in degradation and if the permit is not on public notice before the date EPA approves the antidegradation rule. According to IDNR, facility plans that have not been approved and NPDES permit applications or amendment requests that have not been placed on public notice will be considered to be incomplete and may be returned to the applicant for completion.

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