Muscatine community organization seeks to intervene in GPC lawsuit

A Muscatine citizens' group says it will seek to intervene in the state's lawsuit seeking an injunction and civil damages against Grain Processing Company (GPC) for alleged violations of state and federal pollution laws.

Clean Air Muscatine (CLAM) is a non-profit corporation established for the purpose of protecting communities in Muscatine County from pollution.

"We believe that Iowa’s existing air and water quality laws should be rigorously enforced to improve our air and water quality, and that the participation of citizens in any proceedings involving the enforcement of these laws will help our courts to come to the most fair and just resolution," the group said in a news release.

"Enforcement of our laws should be done in the sunlight, and not behind closed doors," the group said. "We hope that the court would consider input by interested and concerned citizens before issuing any final enforcement orders."

CLAM has retained Attorney James C. Larew to explore legal options available to CLAM, according to the news release.

Last week, the Iowa Attorney General's Office filed suit in Iowa District Court for Muscatine County alleging numerous violations of air and water quality regulations by GPC over the past six years.

CLAM also has scheduled a screening Tues., Dec. 6 of a documentary, "Southend," about air pollution affecting residents in Muscatine. The film was produced by Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility in consultation with Plains Justice and CLAM.

The film will be shown at United Musserville Methodist Church, 1001 Oregon St., at 6 p.m. A discussion with filmmaker Adam Burke will follow with CLAM volunteers available for questions.

CLAM is a community organization whose mission is to improve air quality in the Muscatine area to enhance the community's health, economy and quality of life.

“Southend is a unique educational tool to teach our community about the sources of Muscatine’s dangerous air quality,” CLAM Board President Sandy Stanley said.

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