Iowa Environmental Group Says New Water-Quality Rule Too Weak

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The commission that oversees water quality in Iowa will consider adoption later this month of a new rule critics say is too friendly to livestock farmers.

The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission plans to vote Aug. 19 on the rule that aligns state regulations with the federal Clean Water Act. It primarily gives the Iowa DNR authority to require permits that strictly regulate manure handling for livestock farms shown to spill manure into waterways.

Environmental groups including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement say the rule is too weak and will change little in the way the DNR enforces clean water rules.

The DNR says the rule satisfies the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which threated last year to take over Clean Water Act enforcement if Iowa officials didn’t step up.