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Iowa DNR Testing for Manganese in Water Systems

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The former head of the Iowa Department of Human Services says he was asked to resign his position after refusing a request from Governor Kim Reynolds.   Jerry Foxhoven says the governor asked him to continue paying the salary of a woman moving from his department to the governor's office.

Foxhoven says he didn’t approve paying the salary of Elizabeth Matney, because he believed she was already being paid by the state for her new position. Foxhoven says he was fired two days after that decision. 

Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources has started testing for manganese (MAIN-gah-nees) in drinking water across the state. Exposure to high levels of the mineral can potentially harm a person’s nervous system.

University of Iowa’s David Cwiertny (SWURT-nee) says Iowa is doing the right thing by being proactive. There is no state or federally enforceable standard for manganese (MAIN-gah-nees).

 There might be some communities that are more vulnerable than others. It will depend on your source water, groundwater tends to be more affected by the presence of manganese because that’s the source of it, it’s naturally occurring. All of that makes it very difficult then to set a fixed standard for an entire country.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is researching if national regulation is needed for manganese. According to the DNR, 60 water supplies in Iowa are part of the E-P-A’s study.

The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors agreed last night to go ahead with discussions on building a new jail to ease overcrowding. The 440-bed facility would cost an estimated 49.5 million. The Director of Woodbury County building services said a new detention center would cost twice as much as fixing the current jail.  

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