Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

March 13, 2013

Pleasantville council discusses projects

(Continued)

Pleasantville —

 
Improvements being sought by the DNR would cost approximately $4 million. 
 
"It's a substantial amount of money for the city," Mrstik said. "The data we have now? We're still meeting the limit." 
 
Wiklund said, despite five months of data indicating that Pleasantville can meet the requirements without further investment, that the DNR is requiring a new system because lagoons are not expected to meet the permit guidelines.
 
"For the ammonia, it's really unlikely," Wiklund said. "We're not opposed to any additional monitoring you want to do." 
 
"We'd be happy to have your numbers be the first one that did (meet requirements without the additional investment)," Grapp said. 
 
Pleasantville is also showing improvements in reducing E-coli contamination. Wiklund said that when the City begins to address the further removal of ammonia, it will attract more bacteria and increase the level of E-coli contamination the City produces. 
 
"The environment you create to remove ammonia is the environment bacteria like," Grapp added. Wiklund repeated that the DNR is operating under the assumption that Pleasantville's current wastewater treatment system will not work to stay within guidelines. 
 
Grapp and Wiklund said the DNR has little leeway in setting these standards for Iowa. They are operating under the direction of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 
 
"It is their program," Grapp said. "They delegate it. We don't have much latitude."
 
If the DNR did not work to enforce the federal guidelines, the EPA would come in and make demands on communities like Pleasantville itself. 
 
"Where does the EPA draw their authority?" Heartsill asked. Their authority comes from the Clean Water Act, but Heartsill continued to question how, Constitutionally, the federal government can force environmental regulations on a state. He believes this conflicts with the Tenth Amendment, which addresses states' rights. 

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