Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are threatening to sue an Illinois-based pork producer over what those groups claim are “repeated manure spills” into Iowa waterways.
The facility in question is a hog breeding operation in Van Buren County, Iowa owned by The Maschhoffs, LLC. ICCI and HSUS say the facility has discharged manure into a nearby creek which empties into a section of the Des Moines River. They say that’s a violation of the federal Clean Water Act.
One of the owners of The Maschhoffs, Julie Maschhoff, calls the allegations “frivolous and totally without merit”.
“ICCI has once again distorted our very good environmental record for their own purposes,” Maschhoff tells Brownfield. “This lawsuit is a frivolous attempt to waste our time and money, and discredit us for the work that we and livestock producers do very day to raise hogs in a humane and environmentally-friendly fashion.
“There was an incident of a manure spill two weeks ago, and operating entirely within the law we promptly notified the DNR, we promptly contained the manure spill so that it never reached waters of the state, all the cleanup was done under the DNR supervision, and they approved and signed off on the cleanup effort,” Maschhoff says. “So there was never any threat of water contamination.”
Maschhoff says it’s not the first time that HSUS has threatened to sue their company.
“The Humane Society of the United States has previously issued notices of intent to sue and has never followed up on them—because, again, these are frivolous lawsuits—they don’t have merit,” she says. “They are, however, a good public relations ploy from HSUS’ perspective, because they do waste our time and waste our efforts.”
The Maschhoffs are involved in livestock operations in Illinois, Indiania, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, Georgia and Alabama as well as Iowa.