The Iowa Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee has formally filed an objection to a rule that gives the Department of Natural Resources more discretion in approving confinement construction permits.

The rule gives DNR director Jeff Vonk more discretion in denying permits for confinements he deems environmentally risky. Industry groups and lawmakers who backed the objection argued that the rule gives Vonk, an appointed official, too much power.

Although the rule remains in effect despite the committee’s objection, department officials say the lawmakers’ action could increase the likelihood of lawsuits against the agency. Lawmakers will likely debate the issue further when it reconvenes in January.

Source: Associated Press