The public comment period for the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy has been extended by two weeks until January 18, 2013. The original 45-day comment period was scheduled to close on January 4. According to IDNR, as of January 2 more than 350 comments had been received on the plan.
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based approach to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways and the Gulf of Mexico. The strategy outlines voluntary efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point sources, such as wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities, and nonpoint sources, including farm fields and urban areas.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) worked with Iowa State University over a two-year period to develop the strategy. The Iowa strategy was developed in response to the 2008 Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan that calls for the 12 states along the Mississippi River to develop strategies to reduce nutrient loading to the Gulf of Mexico. The Iowa strategy follows the recommended framework provided by EPA in 2011 and is only the second state to complete a statewide nutrient reduction strategy.