In a surprise about-face, the Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn an order demanding that West Virginia poultry grower Lois Alt obtain a Clean Water Act discharge permit for stormwater runoff from her farmyard or face up to $37,500 per day in penalties. While the action is a great victory for Alt, it leaves unresolved a major legal issue with serious implications for other livestock and poultry farmers that must be addressed, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled in October that AFBF and West Virginia Farm Bureau have the right to join Alt’s lawsuit. EPA had aggressively opposed the Farm Bureaus’ participation. EPA’s withdrawal of the order comes six months after Alt filed her legal action and a mere six weeks before Alt and AFBF are scheduled to file briefs challenging EPA’s interpretation of the law.
In withdrawing its order, EPA cited new management practices identified during a May 2012 re-inspection of the farm.… Continue readingRead More »