You often hear about environmental sites that are required to be cleaned up. However, an Iowa Supreme Court case specifically addresses the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' ("DNR") ability to force cleanup of sites that do not pose a hazardous condition. In First Iowa State Bank v. Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources, 502 N.W.2d 164, 168 (1993), the Court noted that "specific statutory authority for adopting administrative rules relating to solid waste is provided in Iowa Code Sexton 455B.304...[h]owever, no reference is made to adoption of rules relating to cleanup of open dumps. Even the rules adopted by the DNR relating to solid waste do not provide for cleanup." Thus, the DNR has the authority to tell you stop making a mess, but in many cases, it cannot make you clean it up.
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