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HuffPost: This Lawsuit Has Put Big Ag On The Defensive In A Major Way

Posted Jul 30, 2016

Earlier this month, the Iowa Soybean Association had a big announcement to make.

The group, which represents some 11,000 growers of the state’s second-most-lucrative crop, pledged $150,000 in support for three highly agricultural counties — Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac — named in a controversial lawsuit brought by the Des Moines Water Works.  

The lawsuit, which was filed in 2015, claims that nitrogen-rich water flowing off the area’s farms pollutes the Raccoon River, which, along with the Des Moines River, provides drinking water for half a million people. The water authority wants the counties to pick up the dramatically higher treatment costs for the water. The counties, who want the case dismissed, counter that there’s no proof that agriculture is directly responsible for the nitrates.

The case has thus far been upheld, though it won’t be brought to trial until next June. Meanwhile, both sides are digging in for a pivotal Iowa Supreme Court hearing on the matter set for September. 

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