DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The commission that oversees water quality regulations in Iowa has adopted new rules that align state regulations with those imposed by the federal Clean Water Act.
The Environmental Protection Commission's proposed rules primarily give the Iowa Department of Natural Resources authority to inspect farms and issue permits that regulate manure handling by livestock farmers.
Permits aren't required, however, and environmental groups including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement say the rules are too weak and too friendly to the livestock industry. The group protested the votes cast by five members of the nine-member, governor-appointed commission because they have financial interests in livestock farming.
Several hog and cattle farmers spoke before the commission vote in favor of the rules.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the rules Tuesday.