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EPA Approves Iowa Rules to Protect High Quality Waters

Release Date: 10/04/2010
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, (913) 551-7557,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., Oct. 4, 2010) - EPA Region 7 has issued its approval of Iowa’s Antidegradation Policy and Implementation Procedures, which are to be used by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to protect high quality Iowa waters. High quality waters are those with pollutant levels lower than what is required by state regulations.

“Implementation of the rule will yield great water benefits to the residents of Iowa and people who visit the state,” said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. “The rule helps guarantee Iowa’s waters to be safe for aquatic life and recreational activities.”

Iowa is obligated under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to develop and adopt a statewide antidegradation policy and to identify procedures for implementing the policy. Antidegradation refers to federal regulations designed to maintain and protect high quality waters and existing water quality in other waters from unnecessary pollution. It also provides avenues for the public to engage in determining acceptable levels of pollution.

There are three components to water quality standards: water body uses such as swimming and fishing, the criteria to protect those uses and an antidegradation policy to preserve the high quality of minimally polluted waters.

EPA oversees the protection of water quality as required by the CWA. The Agency is working with the public, community leaders, local and state agencies to meet the growing needs and demands on our water resources.

EPA’s September 30, 2010, decision letter provides a more detailed description of EPA’s review and the basis for this action. The decision letter is available at

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More information about water-related activities in EPA Region 7