The Iowa Attorney General’s filed a lawsuit against a northeast Iowa manufacturer. A spokesman for the Attorney General, Bob Brammer, says the agency’s teamed up with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to confront the defendant known as “Buffalo Bill Estates.” It’s a mobile-home company, a maker of “manufactured housing,” at Camanche near Clinton that over the years has had what Brammer calls “a whole slew of environmental problems.” The Department of Natural Resources has insisted the company clean up and change its practices, even assessed administrative penalties totaling more than 20-thousand dollars…but it hasn’t gotten the job done. In such a case, it comes to the attorney general’s office to go to court, to enforce the DNR regulations. There are two or three kinds of violations, he says, the most serious was the handling of asbestos. In addition to homes manufactured at the site on the edge of town, he says some old ones were brought in to be disposed of there, and they were burned. As might be expected, tests found they’d contained asbestos. The fireproofing material has been proven to cause health problems, and for a long time there have been rules regarding its handling. You have to handle asbestos carefully, he points out, and if it gets into the air it can pose serious health threats. In a case where burning something’s considered, he says they should have gone to some professional who could determine whether there was asbestos among the materials, and could properly dispose of it. There were other ongoing complaints, too, including a sewage wastewater lagoon that didn’t operate properly, and a lack of a required certified operator for it. There are also charges that the builder illegally dumped construction debris, garbage, appliances and abandoned trailers at the site for years. The lawsuit charges that the more than 22-thousand in DNR penalties also have not been paid.
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