Groups Petition State for Clean Water Standards

Water is 12 feet higher than normal summer pool at Coralville Lake. Taken on Friday, May 17, 2013. (MARK CARLSON/KCRG)

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By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two environmental groups filed a petition Tuesday with the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission calling on the state to set measurable water quality standards to clean up Iowa lakes.

The Iowa Environmental Council and the Environmental Law and Policy Center filed the petition saying Iowa's plan for reducing phosphorous and nitrogen that pollute lakes is inadequate and doesn't meet federal standards.

The petition calls on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to set standards to protect 159 of Iowa's publicly owned lakes.

The nine-member commission is responsible for setting water quality standards and overseeing the DNR's pollution control efforts. The commission must act on the petition within 60 days.

The petition proposes standards requiring scientific measurements and setting limits for chlorophyll, phosphorous, and nitrogen that contribute to potentially harmful algae blooms.

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