Muscatine builds environmentally friendly fire station

Photo by roanokecollege, Flickr.

Muscatine’s new fire station is going green.

The new station should open towards the end of July. Those involved in the project are hoping that the building will receive Silver LEED Certification.

Some of the building’s green features include bike racks, concrete surfaces that reflect sunlight and heated floors.

Additionally, the fire station’s new location should significantly improve response times.

Read more from the Muscatine Journal here.

Muscatine considers text/email warnings for poor air quality

Muscatine, IA. Photo by Pete Zarria, Flickr.

Muscatine has received lot of criticism in recent years for the county’s poor air quality.

In order to help residents deal with air quality issues, the Muscatine County Board of Supervisors is considering sending out emails or text messages whenever the air quality is deemed unsafe.

The system could also be used to warn residents of harmful weather and other public health issues.

Read more from the Quad City Times here.

Another lawsuit for Grain Processing Corporation

Tee's in Muscatine, Iowa. Photo by Pete Zarria, Flickr.

Last week we highlighted an intense radio segment from Iowa Public Radio detailing the health issues caused by pollution in Muscatine. Much of this pollution comes from the Grain Processing Corporation’s (GPC) facilities.

Now, Muscatine residents are moving towards a class action lawsuit against GPC. The lawsuit claims that GPC’s pollution threatens the residents’ health. This lawsuit comes despite GPC’s assertion that they are complying with state regulations.

Read more from the Des Moines Register here.

Hard-hitting report on Muscatine pollution from IPR

A laundromat in Muscatine. Photo by Pete Zarria, Flickr.

Last week, Iowa Public Radio released an intense report about the pollution issues in Muscatine.

Much of the pollution is linked to the Grain Processing Corporation (GPC). This company is currently under investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency for their air and water pollution. GPC provides a huge boost to the local economy, but critics also note that its pollution is causing health issues throughout the community.

Some of the Muscatine residents say the smog burns their eyes and gives them headaches.

Listen to the story here.

Grain Processing Corp. receives violation notice from EPA

Muscatine, IA. Photo by apo lanthar, Flickr.

The Environmental Protetion Agency issued a notice of violation last month to Grain Processing Corp. in Muscatine, Iowa. The EPA alleges that the company violated the Iowa State Implementation Plan and the federal Clean Air Act.

According to the EPA, the GPC facility repeatedly violated limits on air emissions opacity between 2007 and 2011, which were set in the company’s 1995 construction permit and its 2003 operating permit.

In addition to the violation notice, the EPA has also required the company to provide information about it’s compliance with the Clean Water Act.

For more information, read the full article at the Quad-City Times.

Muscatine citizens seek voice in state’s suit against grain processor

Photo by apo lanthar, Flickr.

A group of 40 Muscatine citizens known as Clean Air Muscatine (CLAM) is seeking to have its voice included in the state’s lawsuit against an alleged corporate polluter, Grain Processing Corporation (GPC).

In a lawsuit filed last month, The Iowa Department of Natural Resources alleges that GPC is a major source of hazardous air pollutants including formaldehyde, hydochloric acid and methanol.

Clean Air Muscatine is arguing that the state cannot adequately represent their interests, and is attempting to intervene in the case. Several members submitted sworn affidavits to the court describing the effects of the pollution.

“I believe GPC considers environmental fines as an operational expense, a cost of operation,” wrote Rev. Jim Turner of United Musserville Methodist Church, located across the street from the plant. “GPC and the individuals that govern it need to be responsible and held accountable for their actions.”

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Safety reminders for hunters

Last Friday, two Iowa men sustained gunshot wounds while deer hunting.

A man from Lansing was hit in the back of the head while hunting in Allamakee County, and a man from Muscatine injured his hand when his gun discharged while he was putting it away.

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources offers four rules for firearm safety that should help prevent these types of incidents:

  1. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded
  2. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction
  3. Be certain of your target and what is beyond it
  4. Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot

For more information, visit Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources hunting safety page here.