A member of the state’s Environmental Protection Commission says fines for those who pollute the environment aren’t adequate, and it’s time to establish criminal penalties. Commissioner Darrell Hanson of Manchester says he has seen cases where he believes people see Iowa’s environmental fines as worth risking — as a cost of doing business.Pork producers must file “manure management plans” with the state, mapping out how they’ll apply the nutrient to farm fields. Hanson says the legislature should hire enough people to review those plans, quit requiring farmers to file ’em — or charge a fee to farmers that’ll be used to enforce the regulations.Hanson says commercial application of farm chemicals, like fertilizer, should be regulated just like manure application’s now regulated. Hanson, a former legislator, was a guest on Iowa Public Television along with John Korslund of Eagle Grove, an active member of the Iowa Pork Producers.Korslund says it’s not just manure that’s causing nitrogen pollution in water. Korslund says it’s time to establish limits on the amount of ag fertilizer that may be applied to fields, too.
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