It has now been 12 months since the Iowa DNR and the EPA came to an agreement on how to deal with water quality issues after it was discovered that the Clean Water Act was not being fulfilled and not enough was being done to enforce it.
It has been identified that there are seven areas that need to be improved and these are the areas that the agreement is going to concentrate on. Bill Ehm who is the Environmental Protection Division Administrator has informed reporters that there will be stricter rules in place when it comes to who is able to receive a pollutant discharge permits. From now on the only people who the DNR in Iowa will give them to are open feedlots.
He has said that over the last month the final rules have been approved by the Environmental Protection Commission.
It is reported that there are further conditions that need to be met including the creation of an inventory that will contain details of all of the large and even medium sized operation involved in animal feeding and ensure that all of them are equipped with the proper permit that is required to enable them to discharge manure. Ehm explained that this could require visits to be made to premises and went on to say that there would be everything possible done to make sure that there would be no complaints of inconsistency levelled at them.
A lot of work has already been carried out regarding what will happen during the visits and outlined the concerns there were when it came to biosecurity and how they were putting together a biosecurity protocol.
There has been criticism regarding the way the state of Iowa has dealt with the problems that surround evaluations and the main concern was that there were so few carried out. Figures show that there were only 20% of the evaluations that should have been carried out actually dealt with. It is worrying that there have been so many feedlots unchecked but according to state officials this is not going to be allowed to happen again.
It is claimed that due to the fact that there was a change to the way the permit program was being run and that the training program that had been arranged for all staff to take had been changed there were problems that will not occur again.