Muscatine’s Grain Processing Corporation (GPC) is undergoing a $100 million initiative to reduce emissions – but this isn’t enough for many nearby residents. In order to cut down on emissions, the GPC will create new facilities and get rid of old equipment responsible for much of the harmful pollution. While the residents endorse this change, the Muscatine Journal reports that they’re frustrated by both the amount of time it took for this project to begin, and the amount of time it will take for GPC to complete it. Current estimates anticipate three more years of work before all the changes are in place:
Several GPC neighbors voiced their opinions.
“My dad died last summer of stomach cancer,” said Wanda Mansaray, who lives on Schley Avenue. “In the end, death wins the battle. How many are going to die? How many more are going to suffer for the rest of their lives? I’m not a smoker, but I’m dying of GPC’s second- hand smoke. Some people can hardly take a breath because of that great factory next door.”
“My mother died of emphysema. My father died of emphysema. I have emphysema,” said another South End resident. “When I go outside, I’m coughing so bad within two hours I have to go back in where I have three expensive air filters.”
“We can’t even open our windows because the pollution enters the house,” said another person who lives across Baker Street from the plant. “There’s people that live around me that have cancer or lung problems. My son has asthma.” Continue reading →
Oooh, that smell. Can’t you smell that smell? Last week residents in Muscatine and across the state in Council Bluffs may have caught a whiff of something because both cities were cited for exceeding EPA air pollution limits.
Muscatine had too much sulfur dioxide wafting through its air, and Council Bluffs had too much lead.
Those unconcerned with air quality may contend that the true problems in these cases are associated with more stringent regulation. Last August the EPA’s allowance of sulfur dioxide grew stricter and in October 2008 strictness for the lead standard increased tenfold.
But both forms of pollution are regulated for a reason. Short-term exposure to sulfur dioxide can increase the likelihood of contracting asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or other lung and heart disease. And it can worsen the symptoms of those who already have such conditions. Continue reading →