A national environmental group is urging Iowans to take large-scale pork producers to court. Nicolette Hahn is the senior attorney for the “Waterkeepers Alliance.”Hahn and others in the “Waterkeeper Alliance” are traveling the Midwest meeting with citizens about taking corporate hog farms to court for violating environmental regulations. Hahn says most factory-style hog farms are in violation of the “Clean Water Act” for repeatedly polluting local waterways, but she says state regulators often lack the resources for a court fight, or are under political pressure to let things slide.Waterkeeper Alliance member Rick Dove says going to court yourself sounds daunting, but it can work.If you do need a lawyer, Dove says the legal fees will be paid by the defendant if you win. But a director of the Iowa Pork Producers says filing a bunch of lawsuits isn’t the answer. Sam Carney says Iowa already levies fines on producers that do pollute the water and takes away operating permits from repeat violators.The Waterkeeper Alliance is currently suing Smithfield Foods. The group held a town meeting in Iowa City on Sunday, in Creston on Monday, in Des Moines last night. There’s a forum in Mason City tonight, in Calmar Thursday night and at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota on Friday night.
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