Clean up your act, or else. The EPA lays down the law for polluters in Muscatine.
The EPA spent 3 years monitoring the air at Musser Park, found it over the one hour limit for sulfur dioxide.
The park is next to a grain processing plant in Muscatine.
Starting Friday, the EPA is placing what they call a non–attainment area on the city of Muscatine.
This means the state and local governments are required to take steps to control the pollution.
Right now, the Iowa DNR said the levels are too high.
"We've had 4 in unhealthy, which is not good, that tells us we need to do some work," said Jim McGraw, with Iowa DNR.
During the public meeting Thursday night, the Iowa DNR representatives talked about a 5 year plan to make the air safer to breathe.
"Our goal is to make sure we get these facilities to stay within that range to work with them to come up with limits to keep them comfortably within that range, and allow them to do their business, at the same time protect our quality," said McGraw.
The DNR said they will work with the major sources of SO2 in Muscatine, including the agriculture company; Monsanto, Muscatine Power and Water, and Grain Processing Corporation, but for some Muscatine residents, 5 years is too long.
"It just seems that we just have to go through this process and in the meantime people are going to suffer in this community," said Sandy Stanley, a Muscatine Resident.
According to the EPA, even short term exposures to high levels of sulfur dioxide have been linked to respiratory issues, such as increased asthma symptoms.
And residents said they are counting on the DNR to fix the problem
"You're the last chance the citizens of Muscatine have to get clean air," said Karl Reichert, another Muscatine Resident.
The companies have until April 6th, 2015 to send their plan of action to the EPA.
It must fall within the guidelines by October, 2018.
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