- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A group opposed to a lawsuit filed by Des Moines Water Works says the utility company’s bill of $40,000 for water quality studies and other records that the group has requested is unprecedented.

The utility company says the bill is a “good-faith estimate” for the extensive effort required to meet the Iowa Partnership for Clean Water’s request, part of which includes records dating back to 1974.

The utility company said in a statement that it is unable to make a precise estimate because “costs of locating, selecting, reviewing and reproducing the records cannot be known in advance of actually completing the effort.”

Des Moines Water Works filed a lawsuit against Calhoun, Buena Vista and Sac counties in March, claiming draining districts in the counties are funneling nitrates from farm fields into the Raccoon River. The river is a drinking source for 500,000 residents.

The Des Moines Register (https://dmreg.co/1HwSksE ) reports that the group claims the utility company has pushed to seal court documents pertaining to the case and is purposely delaying fulfilling the records request.

According to Don Kass, Plymouth County supervisor and Partnership board member, the group has requested the records three times and does not understand why information has not been provided.

Kass said, “We’d like to review this information in order to identify alternatives to harmful litigation.”

Water Works says it offered to provide the group with non-confidential documents produced during litigation, and that the cost of providing the documents would be around $5,000.


Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com

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