Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Only six exceedances of ambient air standards recorded in 2016; none recorded in Muscatine

Only six exceedances of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) were recorded in Iowa during 2016 with none in Muscatine – long the state's hot spot for air pollution.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resource's Air Quality Bureau reported four exceedances of ozone standards and two exceedances of PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns) standards for last year.

EPA rejects IDNR effort to loosen water quality standards; change pushed by industry lobbyists

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected an effort to loosen water quality protection rules in Iowa, saying proposed changes to "antidegradation standards" sought by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) violate federal rules.

In a letter to the IDNR January 19, the EPA's Region 7 Administrator Mark Hague wrote the state was "seeking to establish a one-size-fits-all rule that only projects costs less than 115 percent of base costs optimize 'the balance between water quality benefits and project costs.' "

37 communities in northeast, north central Iowa bypass wastewater treatment after rains, flooding

Heavy rains and flooding has forced more than three dozen communities in north central and northeast Iowa to release untreated sewage into nearby streams and rivers, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

Resident living near those communities with private wells for drinking water are being cautioned by the IDNR about using those sources.

The rain and the resulting flooding caused overflows to a total of 37 wastewater treatment plants, forcing the facilities to bypass treatment to prevent backups of sewage into homes and businesses.

Public input on Alcoa water permit change extended after some initial notices had wording mix-up

The public will now have until the end of September to comment on Alcoa's request to increase by 24 percent the amount of oil/grease, chromium, zinc, cyanide and other suspended solids it is allowed to discharge into the Mississippi River each month.

The higher volumes of chemicals contained in wastewater from the Riverdale plant are generated by the recently completed expansion of the facility to serve the automotive aluminum market.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) ordered the notice be republished because of a mix-up in wording in some of the initial notices. The result was another 30-day period for the public to submit comments on the proposed change. Citizens can submit comments until Sept. 30 by email to: linda.hoehn@alcoa.com, or in writing to the company at 4879 State St., Bettendorf, IA 52722.

QC area first in Iowa to exceed new ozone pollution standard; Scott County Park records exceedance

The Iowa Quad Cities achieved the dubious distinction earlier this week as the first metro area in Iowa to exceed the new, tougher health standard for ozone pollution.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) reported Tuesday (6/14) the air monitor at Scott County Park, north of Davenport, recorded an 8-hour average for ground-level ozone (O3) of 71 parts per billion (ppb) Monday, June 13. The ambient air quality standard for ozone was lowered to 70 ppb from 75 ppm last December.

Heavy rains prompt additional sewage overflows; sewage treatment plant once again over capacity

Heavy rain in November and December prompted yet another series of "sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) events" in Bettendorf, resulting in more than 17 million gallons of untreated sewage and storm water being pumped into the Mississippi River.

With the additional sewage bypasses in the last two months of the year, Bettendorf operated pumps along the riverfront a total of 15 days during 2015 and dumped a total of more than 46 million gallons of the storm water and raw sewage into the river.

Davenport plant discharges 132 million gallons of partially treated sewage into Mississippi River

The amount of partially treated sewage dumped into the Mississippi River by Davenport's Sewage Treatment Plant last month totaled more than 136 million gallons.

The so-called "bypassed" sewage received only primary – not secondary – treatment because flows to the plant on Concord Street were beyond its capacity as storm water runoff infiltrated sewer lines after heavy rains.

As the sewage flows backed up in lines to the treatment plant, Bettendorf pumped more than 29 million gallons of sewage and storm water into the river after the heavy rains in late June and early July.

Latest sewage bypass lasted four days and totaled 18.4 million gallons pumped into Mississippi River

Bettendorf pumped 18.4 million gallons of untreated sewage mixed with storm water into the Mississippi River over a four-day period earlier this month after heavy rain and high water clogged the main interceptor along the riverfront and flows overwhelmed the treatment capacity of the Davenport/Bettendorf sewage treatment plant.

Pumps along the riverfront operated from June 14 through June 18, transferring back-up in the sewer lines into storm water pipes that empty into the river.

Report: sulfur dioxide most common air pollutant; Muscatine records highest number of exceedances

The majority of air pollution exceedances recorded in Iowa over the past five years occurred in Muscatine, with sulfur dioxide pollution the primary issue there and statewide.

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