Topsoil preservation rule at risk

As member based coalition, we rely on the voices of our supporters to help enact meaningful change for Iowa and its environment. Today, you have an opportunity to make your voice heard to help preserve topsoil and protect water.

Last Friday, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) held their final public forum on a proposed amendment to a topsoil replacement rule that mandates developers put a minimum of four inches of topsoil back onto construction sites. The amendment would remove current requirement and replace it with vague language that requires developers to return topsoil unless it is “infeasible.” If passed, this change that could have negative repercussions for Iowa’s land and waterways.

“[The topsoil preservation rule] aids the infiltration of storm water runoff and reduces polluted runoff and the risk of flooding,” Water Program Director Susan Heathcote said at the forum. “Urban runoff is made worse when lawns do not have an adequate layer of topsoil that can absorb and hold water and instead are underlain by compacted clay that acts more like concrete than good Iowa soil.”

The Council has submitted written comments to the DNR, and we encourage you join us and speak up today, as the public comment period for the change ends tomorrow, April 1. Time and time again, our members and supporters have proven that public comments send a strong and clear message to policy makers that Iowans care about our water and land. Comments may be sent to Environmental Specialist Senior Joe Griffin at


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