EPC meets tomorrow, Jan. 21 – 4″ topsoil rule needs your support!

The Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) will meet tomorrow – Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. – to consider, among other agenda items, adoption of a new ┬átopsoil rule to replace the existing 4″ topsoil requirement. The EPC needs to hear you support the 4″ topsoil rule.┬áThe meeting will take place at the DNR Wallace Building, 502 East 9th Street in Des Moines.

In September 2012, the Administrative Rules Review Committee of the Legislature enacted a rule calling for preservation of existing topsoil, up to 4″. In 2014, a group of builders and developers from the Des Moines area objected to the rule. They argued it was not economically or technologically feasible to preserve a given amount of topsoil. Members of the Executive Order (EO) 80 Stakeholder Group appointed to review the rule include five representatives of the building industry and just two who represent homeowners, water quality, soil restoration and the public. In an April, 2014 news release, the Sierra Club Iowa Chapter asked that additional stakeholders be added to the group. The request was ignored.

The EPC needs to hear from you. As an undeveloped area is changed to urban, commercial, or industrial use, natural cover is removed and the chance of erosion problems increases. The topsoil contains organic matter that absorbs water and reduces runoff to local streams as well as provides that water and nutrients to sustain a lawn. To establish healthy landscapes (lawn, gardens, native plantings, trees and shrubs), improve on-site storm water retention, lessen runoff and soil erosion, and improve water quality – we need to retain four inches of healthy soil.

Please plan to attend the meeting, or submit your comments by email prior to the meeting, and show your support for the 4″ topsoil rule!

What: EPC Meeting
When: January 21, 2015, 1:30 p.m.
Where: DNR Wallace Building, 502 East 9th Street in Des Moines, Iowa
Public Participation: Requests to speak during the business meeting must be submitted by email to Jerah.Sheets@dnr.iowa.gov, or in-person prior to the start of the business meeting. In submitting your request to speak, you’re asked to indicate who you are representing (yourself, an association, etc.), the agenda item of interest, and your position – For, Opposed, or Neutral. Comments may also be submitted via email for the public record.

Additional information:

EPC meeting information, agenda and materials
Additional background on the issue, including public comments, from the DNR