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Letter from Joe Bolkcom: Reynolds not keeping Iowans safe


Gov. Kim Reynolds announcing in November 2021 that she has joined a lawsuit to overturn Biden administration vaccination requirements for federal contractors. — video still

The toxic fire, explosion and the hospitalization of 10-15 workers at 6C-Zero in Marengo was a completely preventable disaster. That is if Governor Reynolds were not calling all the shots on how and when to regulate unsafe, polluting businesses in our state.

The safety of the 30 workers, dozens of emergency responders and the entire Marengo community were put at serious risk because the Reynolds Administration allowed this unscrupulous business to operate without proper oversight by state agencies. The 6C-Zero repeatedly brushed off the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and hired Reynolds/Branstad’s former chief of staff to grease the skids for their scofflaw business to operate any way they wanted to.

It’s an all too familiar pattern. The Marengo fire, explosion and worker injuries is just the latest example of Governor Reynolds’ reckless and corrupt oversight of workplace safety and our environment. Iowans witnessed Reynolds negligent oversight of Tyson and other meat packers as they failed to protect their workers during the pandemic and her approval of the rule-breaking Supreme Beef LLC’s 11 thousand head, 35 million gallon a year, manure producing cattle feedlot along pristine Bloody Run Creek in Northeast Iowa. And let’s not forget her virtually non-existent protection of frail seniors living in Iowa’s beleaguered nursing homes. Money and powerful special interests win every time with Reynolds.

Just last week in her order protecting us from Tik Tok, Reynolds once again hollowly proclaimed, “the safety of Iowans is my number one priority.” The next time she visits, she can tell that to the injured workers, their families, brave first responders and the people of Marengo that are now left to heal, recover and clean up this now toxic waste site in their community.

 

Joe Bolkcom is finishing his final term in the Iowa State Senate.


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