Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Released

On November 19, 2012, the State of Iowa announced the release of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy for public comment. Interested parties were invited to submit comments during a 45 day comment period that will end on January 4, 2013.

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based approach to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways and the Gulf of Mexico. The strategy outlines voluntary efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point sources and nonpoint sources. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) worked with Iowa State University over a two-year period to develop the strategy.

The Iowa strategy has been developed in response to the 2008 Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan that calls for the 12 states along the Mississippi River to develop strategies to reduce nutrient loading to the Gulf of Mexico. The Iowa strategy follows the recommended framework provided by EPA in 2011. Iowa is the second state to complete a statewide nutrient reduction strategy.

To address point source discharges, such as POTW and industrial discharge, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be working with major facilities throughout the state to reduce nutrient discharges from point sources to Iowa's waters with a goal of reducing total phosphorus by 16% and total nitrogen by 4 %.

Summary of proposed permitting requirements for point source discharges under nutrient reduction plan

To address nutrient transport from nonpoint sources the strategy uses a scientific assessment of conservation practices and associated costs to reduce loading of nutrients to Iowa surface waters. The strategy identifies five key categories to focus the efforts in addressing nonpoint sources and identifies multiple action items within each category. The five categories are:

  • Setting Priorities;
  • Documenting Progress;
  • Research and Technology;
  • Strengthen Outreach,
  • Education,
  • Collaboration; and
  • Funding.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.

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