A proposed administrative rulemaking that will affirm the variety of compliance and enforcement options the DNR may consider in responding to possible violations of environmental statutes, rules, and permits has been approved by the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) for formal public comment.

Serious violations of rules, regulations, and permits may result in administrative penalties. However, many violations do not rise to the level requiring formal enforcement action. In some instances the development of additional facts is appropriate and in others, notification of the nature of the violation with an opportunity to correct the violation may be sufficient.

The DNR has used these procedures for many years, and this rulemaking simply formalizes this practice. New Chapter 9A will include the compliance and enforcement options that may be used prior to, or in lieu of, assessing the administrative penalties specified in 567 Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) Chapter 10. The proposed rulemaking is intended to meet DNR's responsibility to protect public health and the environment, while providing regulated entities and the public with transparency, clarity, consistency, and fairness in addressing potential violations of Iowa's environmental statutes and rules.

The information on the proposed rulemaking approved by the EPC on February 21 is currently available on the DNR's website at Public Input (scroll down to the Administrative Rules section). Additionally, the Notice of Intended Action will be published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin (IAB) on March 21, 2012. At that time, the proposed rulemaking will be available on the IAB website at Iowa Administrative Bulletin.

The Department will accept written comments until 4:30 PM. on Monday, April 23, 2012.

Additionally, the DNR will hold a public hearing for the proposed rulemaking at 10:00 am. on Monday, April 23, 2012, at the Department's Air Quality Bureau offices at 7900 Hickman Road in Windsor Heights, Iowa.