Fun with Googlemashing: Click on the red icons and see all of the environmental charges against biofuel plants in Iowa. (real map here) Find 276 cases of water contamination, 27 cases of hazardous air pollutants, 3 violations of illegal dumping, 1 major fish kill, and 17 charges of operating without a permit.
According to the Des Moines Register: t is the breadth of the offenses, rather than the number, that surprises Barbara Lynch, who supervises the state's environmental inspectors.
"It's very significant," Lynch said. "We anticipated some issues, but we were disappointed there were so many issues.
"One of the things about ethanol and the biofuels is they impact every arena: air, water, drinking water, construction wastes. It seems like they cut across every program we have."
Regulators and scientists say that as biofuel production grows, more focus is needed on the impact on natural resources.
"The implications of this industry in Iowa are huge," said Rick Cruse, director of the Iowa Water Center at Iowa State University in Ames. "If it isn't done right, it could be devastating to some resources." ::Des Moines Register