Adopted and Filed

Zoning of the Iowa River, Iowa Falls, Hardin County—buoys, speed restrictions, 40.36

Untitled document

ARC 3931C


Adopted and Filed

Rule making related to Iowa River buoys and speed restrictions

The Natural Resource Commission hereby amends Chapter 40, "Boating Speed and Distance Zoning," Iowa Administrative Code.

Legal Authority for Rule Making

This rule making is adopted under the authority provided in Iowa Code sections 462A.26 and 462A.32.

State or Federal Law Implemented

This rule making implements, in whole or in part, Iowa Code sections 462A.26 and 462A.32.

Purpose and Summary

Pursuant to Iowa Code section 17A.7, the Scenic City Empress Boat Club (SCEBC) petitioned the Commission to amend Chapter 40 regarding regulation of buoys and speed restrictions in waters under the jurisdiction of the Commission. SCEBC operates riverboat cruises from its property at 1113 Union Street in Iowa Falls on the Iowa River. The petitioner has indicated that the safety of passengers loading and unloading from its Empress Riverboat is put at risk by the wakes of passing boats rocking the riverboat at its dock. SCEBC requested that the Commission designate a no-wake zone, marked by buoys, extending no more than 75 feet into the river channel, beginning at SCEBC's west property boundary and ending at its east property boundary.

The Commission supported the petition and undertook this rule making for the following reasons: (1) a no-wake zone will ensure passenger safety while passengers are boarding and unloading at the SCEBC dock, (2) safe operation of the Empress Riverboat will help support tourism which the riverboat cruises bring to Hardin County, and (3) the placement of buoys will clearly mark the no-wake zone for all river users.

Therefore, the Commission adopts new subrules 40.36(3) and 40.36(4) to change the zoning of the Iowa River in Hardin County to add a no-wake zone adjacent to the SCEBC property in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

The new subrules clarify that the SCEBC is responsible for the placement and maintenance of the buoys designating the no-wake zone. The language retains the provision that the City of Iowa Falls is responsible for the existing speed zone between the River Street Bridge and the dock at Dougan's Landing.

Public Comment and Changes to Rule Making

Notice of Intended Action for this rule making was published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin on May 9, 2018, as ARC 3782C. A public hearing was held on May 29, 2018, from 1 to 2 Conference Room 4W, Wallace State Office Building, Des Moines, Iowa. No one attended the public hearing. No public comments were received during the open comment period. No changes from the Notice have been made.

Adoption of Rule Making

This rule making was adopted by the Commission on July 12, 2018.

Fiscal Impact

This rule making has no fiscal impact to the State of Iowa.

Jobs Impact

After analysis and review of this rule making, no impact on jobs has been found. However, the Empress Riverboat is a large tourist draw for the county and positively impacts the local economy.


Any person who believes that the application of the discretionary provisions of this rule making would result in hardship or injustice to that person may petition the Department for a waiver of the discretionary provisions, if any, pursuant to 561—Chapter 10.

Review by Administrative Rules Review Committee

The Administrative Rules Review Committee, a bipartisan legislative committee which oversees rule making by executive branch agencies, may, on its own motion or on written request by any individual or group, review this rule making at its regular monthly meeting or at a special meeting. The Committee's meetings are open to the public, and interested persons may be heard as provided in Iowa Code section 17A.8(6).

Effective Date

This rule making will become effective on September 5, 2018.

The following rule-making actions are adopted:

Item 1. Adopt the following new subrule 40.36(3):

40.36(3) All vessels operated in a designated zone beginning at the west property boundary and ending at the east property boundary of the Scenic City Empress Boat Club property located at 1113 Union Street shall be operated at a no-wake speed. The zone shall not extend more than 75 feet into the Iowa River channel.

Item 2. Adopt the following new subrule 40.36(4):

40.36(4) The Scenic City Empress Boat Club shall designate and maintain the no-wake zone with marker buoys approved by the natural resource commission.

[Filed 7/13/18, effective 9/5/18]

[Published 8/1/18]

Editor's Note: For replacement pages for IAC, see IAC Supplement 8/1/18.

Natural Resource Commission

This Organization is a part of the Natural Resources Department

Official Document

  • Zoning of the Iowa River, Iowa Falls, Hardin County—buoys, speed restrictions, 40.36
  • Published on 8/1/2018
  • Adopted and Filed

The official published PDF of this document is available from the Iowa General Assembly’s Administrative Rules page.

View Official PDF

View the Iowa Administrative Bulletin for 8/1/2018.

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Related Notices

Administrative Rule References

The following administrative rule references were added to this document. You may click a reference to view related notices.

Rule 571-40.36(3) Rule 571-40.36(4)
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