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Decision Issued on Iowa’s Water Quality Standards

Release Date: 11/22/2010
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, (913) 551-7557,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., Nov. 22, 2010) - EPA has approved the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) designated use changes for 69 water bodies and disapproved proposed changes for 57 water bodies. Designated uses describe the achievable recreational activities and aquatic life uses in Iowa’s waters. EPA is finalizing action on the remaining 12 water bodies.

“Healthy waters and watersheds provide Iowa communities with drinking water, recreational opportunities, environmental benefits and clean water for habitat for fish and wildlife,” said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. “EPA will continue working with the state to protect Iowa’s lakes, rivers and streams."

The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes a mandatory role for EPA to review and approve or disapprove all state water quality standards. IDNR submitted new and revised Iowa surface water quality standards to EPA for review and approval, as required by the law. This submission updates the use designations for many of the state’s waters following site-specific field studies to determine the highest attainable use for the individual 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 of our water resources.

EPA’s Nov. 19, 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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