Iowa's Second "Ag Gag" Law Challenged, The DSM Water Works Treats Nitrates, SPM News, 5:04

Apr 22, 2019

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The state of Iowa is facing a lawsuit over the new ag-gag law passed in March. 

critics argue it’s essentially the same as the original which was struck down by a federal court.

The new law calls it trespassing if someone lies to get onto a farm because they want to harm the business. When she signed it into law, Governor Kim Reynolds said it was necessary to keep farms secure.

But Rita Bettis Austen, legal director of the ACLU of Iowa, says it also stops journalists from investigating things like mistreatment of workers or animals.

AUSTEN 2, 14 What we’re talking about are exposed, truthful statements about what’s going on in these businesses and facilities that may lead to reputational harms because consumers don’t like what’s going on inside of them.

The state is still appealing the decision that the first ag-gag law was unconstitutional. Related laws have also been dismissed in Utah and Idaho. 

A Des Moines area water utility says construction and testing are complete on a $2.5 million system that will enable it to treat nitrate removed during it purification process rather than dump the material back into the Raccoon River.

Des Moines Water Works announced Monday it had finished work on a pump station and pipe that will carry nitrate from a facility to the Des Moines wastewater center, where it will be treated and turned into a material that can be applied to farms.

For more than 25 years, Des Moines Water Works has removed nitrates from the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers as it purifies drinking water, but then dumped the chemical back into the Raccoon.

The nitrate comes mainly from animal waste and chemical fertilizers that drain into the rivers from farmland.

Des Moines Water Works provides drinking water for about 500,000 people.