Tags: Agriculture

The water utility, Des Moines Water Works, recently brought a lawsuit against the trustees of three surrounding county drainage districts for damages it said it has incurred because of nitrate pollution in Des Moines drinking water. The Complaint alleges that 10 drainage districts located in Sac County, Buena Vista County, and Calhoun County failed to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit in violation of the Clean Water Act.

The Complaint alleges that the drainage districts are point sources. If the drainage districts are identified as point sources, they would be subject to the NPDES program. The NPDES program regulates the discharge of pollutants from point sources to waters of the United States.

The concern for agricultural producers stems from the additional regulatory burden that such a designation would likely entail. Iowa is currently engaged in a conservation program, The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, designed to reduce agricultural runoff and preserve Iowa’s water resources. Those opposed to the current lawsuit suggest that this conservation program needs more time to assess its effectiveness, and that the current lawsuit is premature.

One thing is clear, the outcome of this litigation has the potential to dramatically impact producers in Iowa and beyond. Continue to follow the Goosmann Law Firm Agricultural Law Blog for updates on the status of the Des Moines Water Works litigation. If you like to know more about this article or have a question for one of our attorneys, contact us at info@goosmannlaw.com or (712) 226-4000.

Subscribe Our Blog

DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. By visiting this website, blog, or post you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Goosmann Law Firm attorneys and website publisher. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Goosmann Law Firm, PLC, or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.