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Iowa Court Reinstates Major Pollution Lawsuit

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 11:43am

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- In a major environmental case, the Iowa Supreme Court says residents can bring a class-action lawsuit against a Muscatine manufacturer accused of damaging their homes and cars with harmful pollution.

The court reinstated the lawsuit Friday against Grain Processing Corp., which operates a plant that turns corn kernels into industrial products. Residents say the plant's pollution routinely blankets their properties with soot.

The court says their legal claim that the plant is a nuisance is not pre-empted by the federal Clean Air Act. The decision overturns a ruling by a district judge, who'd thrown out the lawsuit before trial.

The company earlier this year agreed to pay a $1.5 million fine and convert its coal-fired boilers to natural gas to settle an environmental lawsuit filed by Attorney General Tom Miller.

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