Iowa Judge Rules Water Quality Lawsuit Can Proceed

Lawsuit filed by two groups claims Iowa has violated its obligation to protect the Raccoon River

Iowa District Court Judge Robert Hanson has allowed a water quality lawsuit filed by the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) and Food & Water Watch to proceed, according to the Des Moines Register. The lawsuit filed last spring claims Iowa has violated its obligation to protect the Raccoon River for the use and benefit of all Iowans. 
This obligation is called the Public Trust Doctrine, which requires the state to protect the public’s use and not abdicate control to private interests, according to an ICCI press release. 
The Raccoon River is the source of drinking water for some 500,000 Iowans, the ICCI said. This isn’t the first Iowa lawsuit related to water quality. In January 2017, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled against the Des Moines Waterworks in its attempt to pursue damage payments in its lawsuit against three Iowa County Boards of Supervisors. The northern Iowa counties were Calhoun, Buena Vista, and Sac counties. 
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