The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is making an air quality “watch list” available to the public for the first time. The E.P.A. watch list names alleged air pollution offenders who’ve been out of compliance without state or local resolution within 270 days.
Jason Marcel, with the D.N.R. air quality bureau, says the list used to be for internal use only. “They made a decision here recently to make that, what they call the watch list, more publicly available. It was in response to repeated freedom of information act requests,” Marcel said.
A few Iowa firms have shown up on the list in recent months. “The expectation from the EPA to the state and local level is that enforcement actions should be processed in a timely manner, so the watch list is a check on that when the time limit is exceeded,” Marcel said. The EPA now publishes the watch list on its website.
The September list included Griffin Pipe Products of Council Bluffs, Diamond V Mills in Cedar Rapids and Grain Processing Corporation in Muscatine. Only Griffin Pipe remained on the list in October. Marcel said enforcement for Griffin Pipe has been turned over to the E.P.A. because water quality violations are also involved.