Natural Resources & Environment Committee – All-Bill Summary 2021

All bills assigned to the Senate Natural Resources Committee, passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor for her signature in 2021.

SF 353 – Drainage district projects: Repairs or improvements

SF 353 establishes a cost threshold for when an engineer’s report must be filed by a drainage district board. The new threshold will be the greater of $50,000 or the adjusted competitive bidding threshold, which is currently $139,000 for vertical infrastructure. Previously, an engineer’s report was necessary when a project’s cost exceeded the threshold for requiring a public hearing, which is $50,000.

Under the new law, unofficial notices may be provided to interested parties by email. It does not remove any other required notice requirements and does not require someone to receive notices by electronic means.
[2/23: 46-2 (No: Celsi, Dotzler; Absent: Nunn, Shipley)]

HF 234 – Lifetime trout fishing stamp for people over 65

HF 234 directs the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to establish a lifetime trout fishing stamp for people over 65. Iowans over 65 are already eligible to purchase a lifetime fishing license. A trout stamp is required to fish trout. Under the bill, those with a lifetime fishing license also may get a lifetime trout stamp, instead of purchasing the stamp each year.
[5/17: 45-0 (Absent: Goodwin, Johnson, Nunn, Schultz, Williams)]

HF 552– Use of dogs to track wounded deer

HF 552 makes a number of changes to legislation passed in 2020. That legislation allowed the use of leashed dogs to track a wounded animal. That legislation required training for the person and the dog being used to track deer. However, there is not an established training program for a person that would satisfy this requirement. HF 552 removes that requirement and clarifies that a dog handler may accompany a hunter to track the deer without having a hunting license of their own.
[3/29: 45-0 (Absent: Driscoll, Hogg, Kraayenbrink, Nunn, Sweeney)]

HF 560– Requirements for waste tire collectors and processors

HF 560 would increase the required surety bond for waste tire haulers from $10,000 to $150,000. It also increases the financial assurance instrument requirement for waste tire collectors and processors from the equivalent of 85 cents per tire to $2.50 per tire on the site.
[3/10: 48-0 (Absent: Hogg, Nunn)] 

HF 747 – Game preserve season extension for extreme weather

HF 747 would allow a game preserve to apply to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for a time extension for operating and providing hunting opportunities. The DNR may grant a variance to the operator to extend the season beyond March 31 if the precipitation for the month of January, February or March is above average for the county in which the preserve is located. Approval of the variance is at DNR’s discretion. The season may not be extended beyond April 15, which is meant to provide safety to game birds during the prime nesting season.
[4/7: 44-0 (Absent: Brown, Carlin, Dawson, Hogg, Nunn, Schultz)]