Friday, March 6, 2015

Visiting Professor Neil Hamilton: Remarks on Des Moines Water Works Proposed Litigation

Another issue that connects agricultural law, environmental law and our food system.

As many have read in the news, the Des Moines Water Works recently started the requisite process to initiate a lawsuit against 3 Iowa counties over nitrate contamination of the city water source. See, e.g., Water Works Votes to Sue 3 Counties Over Nitrates.  The Water Works is currently spending $4,000 a day to treat the contaminated water. The water has been found to be 6 times higher than the federal limit for nitrate contamination.

This proposed case raises a variety of novel legal questions and brings the issue of nitrate contamination in Iowa, the vast majority of which comes from farming sources, to center stage.

Professor Neil Hamilton, one of our visiting professors in the LL.M. Program, was asked to speak to the Iowa Water Conference this week, and I am providing his remarks to our LL.M. students for discussion in their classes. This issue provides an example of the many ways that an integrated study of agricultural and food law is necessary.

Professor Hamilton also allowed me to post his remarks on the Agricultural Law blog that I write for. The Agricultural Law blog is a member of the Jurisdynamics Network of blogs and is the official blog of the American Association of Law School's Agricultural and Food Law Section.

For anyone interested in this issue, here is a link to the post, Sixteen Things to Know About the Des Moines Water Works Proposed Lawsuit.

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