The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

November 21, 2013

Groups to pursue lawsuit against hog farm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Environmental and animal welfare organizations on Thursday filed a notice of intent to sue a southeast Iowa hog farm after a recent accident spilled thousands of gallons of hog manure into a creek near the Des Moines River.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the Humane Society of the United States said they intend to file a lawsuit in 60 days against Maschhoff Pork, an Illinois company that operates a pig farm near Keosauqua.

Under the federal Clean Water Act, those seeking to challenge businesses they believe are polluting water must file such a notice first.

The groups oppose large-scale livestock farms and have pushed the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to increase regulatory control over the farms.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Environmental Integrity Project and the Iowa Sierra Club filed a petition in 2007 with the Environmental Protection Agency seeking to have the federal agency step in and take over regulation of water quality in the state. The petition alleged Iowa was failing to be aggressive enough in stopping water pollution. In September the state reached an agreement with the EPA promising to step up inspections of more livestock farms and enforce penalties when spills occur.

The environmental and animal welfare groups want the state to issue Clean Water Act permits for facilities with repeated spills. A permit would force farms to conform to stricter rules by spelling out specific changes that could include upgrading manure storage equipment and other measures. The permit process could also result in increased fines for future spills.

The Maschhoff farm near Keosauaqua houses nearly 7,500 sows producing about 11 million gallons of manure a year. It is retained in a lagoon and occasionally spread onto about 591 acres of surrounding farmland.

The farm spilled about 6,000 gallons of hog manure in November 2007 and had two spills in December 2011 the second of which spilled more than 9,000 gallons of manure into a creek and a pond.

Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • Seusical 261.JPG Summer Fun for Families: Seussical the Musical

    Need a Dr. Seuss fix? Or just to get out of the house with a younger child for a few hours? Pella will be staging "Seussical the Musical."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 25, 2014

  • Taking a look at Iowa's rural bridges and roads

    OSKALOOSA — National statistics indicate that Iowa roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair.According to the Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland report, 22 percent of Iowa’s rural bridges are deficient.Maha

    July 25, 2014

  • 0726 OTT cedar creek Gone in a flash

    BLOOMFIELD — Bob Parker got about as close to lightning as you can Friday morning, and came out of it without injury. A line of thunderstorms started moving through southeast Iowa in the early morning hours. Parker was heading to work at about 7 a.m.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Southeast Iowa's Lake Darling State Park reopens BRIGHTON, Iowa (AP) — Lake Darling State Park has reopened after around six years of restoration work in southeast Iowa's Washington County. The $16 million project began in 2008 and included draining the 300-acre lake and replacing a dam. The park n

    July 25, 2014

  • Honey Creek Resort recognized for recycling MORAVIA — Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake has been selected as having the best government recycling program by the Iowa Recycling Association.“Iowa’s Greenest Resort” received the award July 17 during the Iowa Recycling Association annu

    July 24, 2014

  • Mammoth photo 2 Researchers find mammoth ankle

    OSKALOOSA — Researchers at the mammoth dig site in rural Mahaska County recently found an articulated mammoth ankle — a very interesting find.“It tells us something we never knew before,” said Dave Brenzel of the Indian Creek Nature Center. The mammo

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Van Buren says bye-bye to Waste Management KEOSAUQUA — Waste Management has been charging the Van Buren Community School District an average of nearly $1,600 a month to remove waste and recycled materials from the Douds and Keosauqua centers. Now faced with a bidding process, Waste Management

    July 23, 2014

  • MINE logo.jpg Two arrested on drug charges

    The Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement drug task force executed a search warrant in Knoxville last night. A man and a woman were arrested. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Propane suppliers: buy ahead to avoid price spikes DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — State officials and propane suppliers are advising consumers to fill their tanks before cold weather arrives because prices could climb again this winter. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports ( ) prices will

    July 23, 2014

AP National