EPA Approves Majority of Iowa's Water Quality Standards

June 17, 2004

EPA has approved most of the revised Iowa water quality standards adopted by the state May 19, 2003. Those approved revisions now can be implemented under the Clean Water Act.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) submitted the 2003 revised Iowa Water Quality Standards to EPA for review and approval October 23, 2003, as part of the state’s ongoing triennial review process.

States are required to conduct a review of their water quality standards no less frequently than every three years and submit new or revised standards to EPA. These requirements are detailed in Section 303(c) of the Clean Water Act.

The approved standards include E. Coli as the bacteria indicator, as well as supporting criteria to protect recreational uses in Iowa’s lakes and streams.

EPA disapproved one provision concerning a proposed "high flow exclusion" because EPA believes it is insufficient to protect designated recreational uses for the state’s water bodies. This provision would have exempted certain streams and rivers from bacteria criteria during undefined high flow events.

In our decision letter, EPA acknowledged IDNR’s commitment to foster public input and keep Iowans informed about the water quality standards revision process.

To obtain an electronic copy of EPA’s decision letter, please contact Martin Kessler by at (913) 551-7003 or [email protected].

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency