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Private donors pay $900,000 to defend Iowa counties

By Staff | Apr 19, 2016

DES MOINES (AP) – The three northern Iowa counties being sued by a Des Moines water utility have received $900,000 in donations to cover most of their legal bills, but officials won’t identify the donors.

Sac, Buena Vista and Calhoun counties released about 260 pages of legal records.

One of Calhoun County’s attorneys, David Wollenzien, says the counties are trying to get permission from donors to share more, but they don’t believe they’re required to identify them because state law exempts donations from foundations that support government.

The lawsuit filed last year by Des Moines Water Works alleges the three counties that oversee 10 agricultural drainage districts should be required to obtain federal water pollution discharge permits because they release pollutants into rivers much like regulated factories.

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