The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) designated use changes for 430 water bodies and disapproved proposed changes for 89 water bodies. Designated uses describe the achievable recreational activities and aquatic life uses for Iowa’s waters.
“Healthy watersheds provide Iowa communities with safe drinking water, recreational opportunities, environmental benefits, and clean water for habitat for fish and wildlife,” said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. “EPA will continue working with the state to protect Iowa’s lakes, rivers and streams."
IDNR submitted these new and revised Iowa surface water quality standards to EPA for review and approval, as required by the Clean Water Act. The state based its recommendations on site-specific field data gathered by IDNR in and near streams, lakes and rivers. This submission updates the use designations to determine the highest attainable use for the individual waters.
Designated recreational uses protect for activities, such as swimming, fishing and canoeing, and for human consumption of aquatic life. Aquatic life uses provide for the protection and maintenance of a healthy environment for fish and other animals.
The Act assigns EPA the duty to oversee state-agency actions to protect water quality. In partnership with IDNR, EPA works with the public, community leaders, local, and state agencies to meet the growing needs and demands of our water resources.