Livestock manure can be regulated as solid waste: federal court
By Chris Scott on 1/19/2015
A federal court has for the first time opened the door for livestock manure to be regulated as solid waste under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Judge Thomas Rice of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington ruled that the Cow Palace Dairy in Washington State polluted local ground water by spreading manure over the soil. The case is expected to go to trial in March to determine the scope and possible remedies to the situation, although an attorney representing the dairy operation plans to appeal the ruling, according to Reuters.
Judge Rice ruled that Cow Palace applied more manure than was necessary to fertilize the affected soil, violating the “open dumping” statute of the provision. The act calls for violators to stop polluting and also clean up damage the dumping may have caused.
The ruling is important because it could affect legal challenges to the practices at thousands of livestock facilities across the country, according to an attorney representing a collection of public advocacy groups, Reuters reported.
The case is Community Association For Restoration Of The Environment, Inc. et al v. Cow Palace, LLC et al, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, No. 13-CV-3016.