WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Board to Explore Fertilizer Plant Request

Dec 19, 2013

The Lee County Board of Supervisors will take a closer look at the latest request from Iowa Fertilizer Company.

Lee County Board of Supervisors

The company is seeking approval from the Iowa DNR to increase water usage by 600% at the plant it is building just south of Wever.

The permit request concerned Shirley Deck, who lives nearby, enough to call the DNR to protest the permit.

She also asked the supervisors to get involved, since they help secure the plant coming to the county, by pushing for a delay in the permit process.

Deck told them that she is concerned about the availability of water in that area, especially if another business or industry tries to locate there.

Supervisor Gary Folluo says he understands her concerns, adding that "water is always a concern.  It always has been (and) always will be.  In the future, it is going to be more-so."

The board did not take formal action on Deck's request, as several questioned whether the supervisors had the authority to delay the permit process.

Supervisor Gary Folluo did pledge to reach out to the Lee County Economic Development Group and to state lawmakers to gather more information about the request.

He says he was unaware of the situation prior to the permit request appearing in a local newspaper.

Comments on the permit are still being accepted by the DNR.