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Comment period extended on nutrient strategy

From news reports

Date Modified: 02/05/2013 4:18 PM

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DES MOINES — The public comment period for the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy has been extended by two weeks until Jan. 18.

"It has been the goal all along to have broad public input on the strategy and we hope the two additional weeks will allow more Iowans to review the strategy and provide comment. We have had some requests for an extension of the comment period and hope those interested will take advantage of the additional time to participate in the comment period," said DNR Director Chuck Gipp and ag secretary Bill Northey.

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based approach to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways and the Gulf of Mexico. The strategy outlines voluntary efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point sources, such as wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities, and nopoint sources, including farm fields and urban areas.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa Department of Natural Resources worked with Iowa State University for more than two years to develop the strategy. The resulting strategy is the first time such a comprehensive and integrated approach addressing both point and nopoint sources of nutrients has been completed.

The Iowa strategy has been developed in response to the 2008 Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan that calls for the 12 states along the Mississippi River to develop strategies to reduce nutrient loading to the Gulf of Mexico.

The full report, additional information and place for comments can be found at www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu.

Two public meetings and a webinar were held to educate Iowans about the strategy and answer questions. The webinar has been archived and can be viewed on the nutrient strategy website at www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu. In addition, presentations will be made to farmers, certified crop advisors and others in the agriculture industry as part of ISU Extension and Outreach's ongoing educational meetings.

As of Jan. 2, more than 350 comments had been received on the plan.