ABI to participate in DNR workgroup on proposed fees

June 1, 2017

Members of ABI’s Environment Committee held a special conference call last week to discuss potential ABI participation in stakeholder meetings proposed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)  to address the funding of the air quality bureau. This proposed workgroup comes less than three years after the Legislature mandated a workgroup convene and find a solution for funding challenges. At the request of the Environment Committee, ABI staff conferred with DNR and found out additional information about the workgroup goals.

The proposed DNR workgroup will meet three times this summer and the goals, as decided by Iowa DNR Air Quality Bureau staff, are:

  1. Provide information on DNR fees and for what they are collected and share the results of a time study the DNR completed.
  2. Ask industry if businesses are willing to support funding for an updated online permitting system. There is an off-the-shelf option with some grant funding available, but more money is necessary to complete the project.
  3. Request legislative support to increase the fee caps and collect more money from industry to fund the air quality bureau.
  4. Explain the Federal budget challenges if the president’s initial budget is approved.

ABI recommended DNR look at operational changes and efficiencies to the bureau as opposed to increasing fees on industry. After feedback from the Environment Committee, ABI will participate in this workgroup. For more information about the workgroup and/or ABI’s involvement please contact Nicole Crain at ncrain@iowaabi.org.