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EPA Approves Iowa's Water Quality Standards

Release Date: 12/29/2005
Contact Information:

Environmental News
Contact: Kim Olson
(913) 551-7458


December 29, 2005


EPA has approved the revised Iowa water quality standards adopted by the state December 15, 2004. The approved revisions now can be implemented under the Clean Water Act.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) submitted the 2004 revised Iowa Water Quality Standards to EPA for review and approval February 28, 2005, as part of the states 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 a protocol to help establish a new process for assessing cold-water uses of water bodies, and a change from a single use designation for cold-water aquatic life into two designations. The purpose of the split is to reflect the type or extent of uses by cold-water types of aquatic species.

A key difference between cold-water and warm-water streams is the aquatic species present and the temperature conditions they need to live. The state will assess new streams as cold-water streams using the new protocol. Formal rule making is required for the state to adopt any new streams into one of the cold-water use designations.

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

* To obtain an electronic copy of EPAs decision letter, please contact Kim Olson by phone or e-mail (contact info above).

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