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June 2, 2009

Attorney General Sues Mitchell County Landowner for Open Dumping and Burning

Osage. The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has sued Colleen Weber for repeated solid waste and air quality violations at her property along Highway 218 near Osage in Northeast Iowa.

“We allege illegal open dumping and burning of a variety of materials over several years,” said Attorney General Tom Miller. “The materials include discarded wood, metal, fabric, cardboard, furniture and even food waste. Iowa law prohibits this kind of dumping anywhere other than at an approved sanitary disposal site,” he said.

“The DNR has worked for years to get the owner of this property to comply with environmental requirements,” Miller said. “Now we are asking the court to order compliance.”

The lawsuit alleges that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has been attempting to bring the site into compliance since 2003. [Go to lawsuit.] DNR administrative orders were issued in 2005 requiring cleanup of the site and assessing a $1500 penalty. Despite the orders and numerous DNR inspections since then, the site has not been cleaned up and the penalty has not been paid.

The lawsuit was filed Friday, May 29, in Mitchell County District Court in Osage. It asks the court to order cleanup of the site and prohibit future violations. It also asks the court to order civil penalties up to $5,000 per day for solid waste dumping violations and up to $10,000 per day for open burning air quality violations, and to order Weber to pay past administrative penalties.

The dump site is located about four miles east of Osage in Mitchell County, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 218 and Iowa Highway 9.

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