NRCS Extends Deadline for Public Comments on Nitrate Removal Wetlands
The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service will accept written public comments on the mitigation ratio for nitrate removal wetlands until April 20.
Written comments may be submitted to Richard Sims, State Conservationist for Iowa NRCS, by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org or 693 Neal Smith Federal Building, 210 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50309.
Local Soil and Water Conservation Districts hosted three public sessions in northwest Iowa in March to gather input and share information on nitrate removal wetlands, the mitigation ratio for draining farmed wetlands and the impact on wildlife habitat.
Transcripts from these sessions as well as submitted written comments will be posted to the Iowa NRCS website after April 20.
Nitrate removal wetlands are strategically designed and located to remove nitrate from tile drainage water in cropland areas. These wetlands can be placed in many counties throughout the tile-drained region of north-central Iowa. In addition to improving water quality and providing wildlife habitat, some producers and drainage districts perceive nitrate-removal wetlands as an opportunity to drain a farmed wetland through a mitigation or trade.
As the agency responsible for wetland compliance issues, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking public input for the mitigation ratio allowing the drainage of farmed wetlands when installing a nitrate removal wetland.
Richard Sims, State Conservationist, USDA-NRCS