Federal investigators will soon travel to Maynard in northeast Iowa to investigate apparent vandalism to the city’s water supply earlier this month. Kathy Lee, of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’s emergency response team, says the the state’s initial investigation indicates it’s an act of vandalism by local pranksters. She says the vandal or vandals entered a well house and released a chemical chlorine solution, and she says the state investigation was to determine that there was no impact on the water supply. Lee says E-P-A investigators want to send a message about the vandalism. She says they’re taking vandalisms and potential terrorism directed toward water systems very seriously these days, and she says they’re going to investigate to see if criminal charges might be warranted. Lee says they don’t have any suspects that she knows about. Lee says these incidents are treated a lot differently now.Lee says the awareness of water security has been raised since 9-11 and vandals face severe fines. The Bioterrorism Act increased penalties for tampering or threatening to tamper with a water supply to a maximum of one million dollars for actual tampering and up to 100-thousand dollars for threatened or attempted tampering. The maximum prison time increased to 20 years for tampering and to 10 years for threatening to tamper. Lee’s not sure when the investigation will begin and how long it will take.She says this is a new process for them and she’s not sure how long it will take. The Fayette County sheriff’s office has not completed its investigation of the incident but has indicated youths may have broken into the facility since a nearby park was also vandalized.
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