Dems: Natural Resources Committee Report – Week 6, 2018

February 14, 2018
By

SSB 3091 – Updates to various programs administered by DNR;
SSB 3108 – Boat registration process improvements. 

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

SSB 3091 contains a number of provisions updating programs administered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). These updates include:

  • Transferring the duties for the state’s Geological Survey program from DNR to the University of Iowa. The program has been operated by the University under a contract with DNR for the last few years. The Geological Survey has operated within the university’s center for Hydroscience and Engineering, which aligns the duties of the Geological Survey with the areas of expertise within the center.
  • Removing a “random inspection” requirement for the DNR regarding their oversight of delegated permitting programs for sanitary sewer and water supply systems. The DNR reviews every permit issued by the delegated authority, making random inspections unnecessary. The requirement was noted in the state auditor’s review of DNR programs.
  • Clarifying DNR’s enforcement authority over recycling businesses to ensure that they are engaged in legitimate recycling efforts and not stockpiling solid waste at an unapproved site, leading to environmental contamination.
  • Aligning reporting requirements for the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) with those for DNR. DNR reports are required on a biennial basis, but the EPC is currently required to report annually.
  • Removing references to the redemption center grant program. This program received a one-time appropriation in 2009. If the program were to receive funding in the future, the associated rules would need to be updated to account for changes since 2009.
    [2/13: short form (Absent: Bertrand)]

 

SSB 3108 updates the Iowa Code regarding the process for registration and titling of boats and other vessels. Boat and vessel registration is now done using an electronic licensing system. These changes will improve the process. Changes include:

  • Allowing an owner to register their vessel with any county recorder rather than the county where the vessel was initially registered.
  • Allowing a 60-day grace period for renewal of a boat registration. Boat registrations expire on April 30, prior to the time most owners take their vessel onto the water. Owners could renew prior to June 1 without having to pay a $5 late fee.
  • Allowing an owner to initially register their vessel for shorter than the three-year registration period. This allows the owner to prorate the fee and align the registration with the timeline for renewal.
  • Allowing a title to be used to sell or transfer a vessel. Currently, the transfer or sale requires completing a form on the original registration certificate.
  • Removing the requirement for a notarial to witness the application for a title after acquiring a vessel.
  • An amendment adopted in committee increases from 15 to 30 the number of days a snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle or vessel dealer has to send fees and applications to transfer a vehicle requiring a title.
    [2/13: short form (Absent: Bertrand)]

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