Iowa Rep. Mary Wolfe, D-Clinton, will listen to air quality concerns of South Clinton residents on Wednesday, July 13. An open forum will be held at the Clinton Public Library at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Archer Daniel Midland Co.’s proposal to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to use two new solvents in company processes.
The forum follows a DNR-conducted public hearing held on June 28. At the meeting, South Clinton residents angrily blasted ADM’s supposed contribution to air quality issues in the area, and expressed fear that the new solvents would exacerbate the issue. The DNR has yet to decide whether it will issue the permit.
Wolfe, who was in Des Moines on House business at the time of the initial hearing, said it is important for her, as a legislator, to directly listen to the concerns of her constituents.
“I’ve gotten some calls from people who have concerns about (the ADM permit application),” Wolfe said. “Rather than listen to everybody separately, I thought it just made sense to get everybody together and talk about it.”
She said the goal for the meeting was to gain a better understanding of the issue, and if possible, address it in whatever ways she can. However, Wolfe said that since the DNR has authority in awarding the permit necessary to use the solvents, her options may be limited.
“Realistically, (the DNR) has their rules and if they make a decision based on their rules and regulations ...I doubt anything can be done about that,” Wolfe said. “I’d just like to get a better handle on what (residents) are worried about.”
In an effort to gain a thorough understanding of the situation, Wolfe said she plans on meeting with ADM officials sometime today. She said hearing the other side of the issue was an important step in reaching any potential resolution.
“I consider (ADM) my constituents as well,” Wolfe said. “I want to hear their side of the story. I want to hear my constituents’ side of the story. I just want to give everybody a chance to tell me their concerns.”