The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the state list of impaired waters submitted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. John DeLashmitt, the chief of water quality for the E-P-A region that includes Iowa, says states have to submit the list every two years.
DeLashmitt says water bodies on the list are not meeting one or more of their designated uses. For example, swimming is a designated use, and a waterbody with that use would have to be protected to make sure it is safe for swimming. DeLasmitt says Iowa added 105 water bodies and removed 51 from the list. He says the state puts together a plan to deal with the direct sources of pollution.
DeLasmitt says the state will look at those direct sources, and also at the "non-point" sources such as runoff, and try to take the steps to get the water back to meeting its designated use. This list is actually for 2006, so the process is set to get underway again for 2008.
DeLashmitt says as soon as the state submits this list, they begin working on the next list, so it’s "almost a perpetual task." DeLashmitt says Iowa is typical of other midwest states for the amount of impaired waters. He says Iowa is probably no better, or no worse than his four-state region of Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri.
DeLashmitt says Kansas is typically cited for the number of miles of impaired waters, but he says Kansas measures differently than Iowa. So, overall he says Kansas isn’t much different than the other states in the region. To see the list of impaired waters in Iowa, visit the Iowa D-N-R’s website .