Environmental News: No Fee Increases, New AQ Bureau Chief, Opportunities to Comment and Emissions are Plummeting in Iowa

May 19, 2022

There are a number of environmental regulatory updates to report. On Tuesday, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Air Quality Bureau confirmed that there would be no increase in fees for Fiscal Year 2023, which begins on July 1. Fees are assessed for asbestos demolition notifications, asbestos renovation notifications, applications for new source review construction permits, applications for initial and renewal Title V operating permits and Title V permits. Find more information here. ABI and it’s members have worked for many years to increase accountability when it comes to the fees levied on industry.

Sarah Piziali has been named the new bureau chief for Air Quality. She starts on May 27th. She replaces Catharine Fitzsimmons, who served in that post for many years and recently retired. Sarah has worked for the DNR for almost 20 years. Before being promoted to Bureau Chief, Piziali served as the supervisor of the Air Quality Construction Permit Section. ABI looks forward to working with her in her new role.

The public is now welcome to review and comment on Iowa’s 2022 Air Monitoring Network Plan. The plan is required by EPA’s ambient air monitoring regulations. It contains detailed information about the location and purpose of any monitor in Iowa’s air monitoring network that produces data for comparison with national ambient air quality standards. The plan and comments will be submitted to EPA after a 30 day review period. You can view the plan here. Comments must be received by the DNR by June 17. Please send them to Brian Hutchins. ABI has commented in the past, which resulted in some changes to the monitoring network. If you think Iowa needs to take another look at it’s network, or you have concerns or positive comments to share, please direct them to Nicole Crain or Brad Hartkopf.

The DNR is also taking comments on the 2022 report for the sulfur dioxide Data Requirements Rule (DRR). The DRR requires an annual assessment of recent sulfur dioxide emissions in any area where air quality modeling of actual emissions provided the basis for designating the are attainment for the 2010 1-hour sulfur dioxide national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). Louisa and Pottawattamie Counties are currently subject to review. The DNR is recommending no additional modeling to conclude that these areas continue to attain the 1-hour sulfur dioxide NAAQS. The report is due to EPA by July 1 and available here. Comments must be received by June 15 and should be sent to Jessica Reese McIntyre.

Thanks to business and industry’s commendable efforts over the last number of years, the DNR recently reported air emissions were down significantly. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide have decreased the most - down by nearly 90 and 70 percent. ABI members take seriously their roles to be good stewards of the environment and good neighbors. The millions of dollars in investment made by Iowa companies that resulted in the decrease should be commended.