U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett of the Sioux City, Iowa, district court heard an attorney representing the boards of supervisors of Buena Vista, Sac and Calhoun counties who asked for dismissal of eight of the 10 counts filed by the Des Moines Water Works against the county drainage districts.
Those counts being requested for dismissal include nuisance, negligence, trespassing, taking without just compensation and due process and equal protection claims, according to a Sioux City Journal report.
Des Moines Water Works filed suit in March, claiming the boards of supervisors of Buena Vista, Sac and Calhoun counties, serving as trustees of the drainage districts within their borders, are violating the federal Clean Water Act by not doing enough to reduce the amount of nitrates in water that runs into the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers and their tributaries, the primary source of water for Des Moines.
The drainage districts' arguments for dismissal are based on what the Des Moines Water Works claims are outdated rulings of the past, according to John Lande, an attorney representing the Des Moines Water Works.
Michael Reck, a Des Moines attorney representing the boards of supervisors with drainage district duties, claims these individuals cannot control land drainage. “They can't control the land. They do what they're told to do. They are merely a vehicle set by the Legislature to drain land," said Reck.
The full Sioux City Journal article is available here.