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From: Debbie Neustadt, 1261 E.23 Des Moines, IA 50317.
To: Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force

I am filing comments regarding the EPA's state-federal task force Action Plan for Reducing, Mitigating, and Controlling Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (Action Plan) as required by section 604(b) of Public Law 105-383.

  • The scientific evidence solidly demonstrates that excess nutrients(most significantly, nitrogen) entering the Gulf of Mexico are causing the hypoxic "Dead Zone."

  • Because the Gulf's ecosystem is valuable to the entire nation, and because many states potentially contribute to the problem, we need a national strategy to address the issue.

  • Scientific studies have shown that the upper Midwest region of the country is a major contributor to the nutrients flowing into the Gulf.

  • Groups and individuals in the State of Iowa is ready and willing to work cooperatively with the federal government and other states to address the Gulf hypoxia problem.

  • We need to set a numeric goal for reduction of nutrients. We must have a target to shoot for in reducing the nutrients going into the Gulf.

  • Iowa has already begun implementing many of the steps in the task forces' Action Plan. Iowa has adopted Governor Vilsack's Clean Water Initiative, which is using a variety of methods to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering Iowa's waters. This helps clean up Iowa's waters, which will have a beneficial effect on the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico as well.

  • While significant state and private funding is being spent in the State of Iowa to address this matter, Iowa does not have the financial resources to fully address the need. Therefore, assistance -- both technical and financial -- will necessary to help clean state waterways within the Mississippi River watershed.

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