Iowa Judge Allows Environmental Activists’ Suit to Proceed

A district court judge in Polk County, Iowa, ruled last week that an environmental lawsuit brought against the state of Iowa will move forward. 
Allowing the lawsuit, which challenges Iowa’s management of fertilizer and hog farm pollution in rivers and streams, handed a significant victory to environmental activists who oppose the state’s voluntary farm pollution regulations.
Judge Robert Hanson said in his ruling that Iowa Citizens For Community Improvement and Food & Water Watch may proceed to trial in their effort to prove the state isn’t doing enough to clean up the Raccoon River, a drinking water source for 500,000 central Iowa customers of Des Moines Water Works.
The lawsuit claims the state has violated the rights of citizens to clean water for recreational and drinking water uses. It asks the court to order mandatory limits on nitrogen and phosphorus pollution and for a moratorium on new and expanding hog confinement facilities.
A spokesman for the Iowa attorney general’s office said the state is reviewing the ruling and considering next steps.
A spokesman for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she will not comment on the decision.
Source: Associated Press