The Iowa Farm Bureau Fed­er­­ation (IFBF) recognized the ef­­fort of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for taking necessary steps to keep the federal livestock permit program in Iowa’s hands last week in written comments.

"We support a balanced ap­­proach to regulatory oversight that protects the environment while providing clarity and flexibility for Iowa farmers," said Christina Gruenhagen, IFBF government relations counsel. "These rules have struck such a balance, while protecting the longevity of Iowa agriculture and the quality of our environment."

The proposed rules would re­­quire federal National Pollutant Elimination Discharge System (NPDES) permits for confinement feeding operations that are actually discharging to a water of the U.S. and that don’t correct the problem. The DNR did not propose to require federal permits for every livestock farm.

Unnecessary burdens

Automatically requiring the federal permits for every livestock farm would place added financial or...