The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) initial findings from an informal investigation of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' (IDNR) permit program for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) showed several correctable deficiencies. EPA conducted the investigation in reponse to a petition by several organizations for the withdrawal of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program authorization.
EPA found IDNR doesn't have an adequate program to assess whether unpermitted CAFOs need NPDES permits and that IDNR must clarify its authority to issue these permits to confinement CAFOs that discharge. EPA also says IDNR failed to take timely, adequate enforcement action on a number of Clean Water Act violations. IDNR must provide a written response to the report within 60 days detailing actions it has taken and will take (with a timeline) to correct the deficiencies.