Home Indiana Agriculture News EPA Abandons Key Farm Case in West Virginia

EPA Abandons Key Farm Case in West Virginia

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The Environmental Protection Agency will not appeal a key federal ruling in favor of a West Virginia farmer. The U.S. Court for the Northern District of West Virginia earlier ruled against EPA and in favor of farmer Lois Alt in October 2013. The court rejected EPA’s contention that the Clean Water Act regulates ordinary stormwater runoff from the farmyard at large livestock or poultry farms. The American Farm Bureau suggest the lower court’s ruling carries implications for tens of thousands of poultry and livestock farms nationwide. An appellate court decision upholding that ruling would make it even harder for EPA to persist in imposing wide-scale federal permitting requirements on large animal farms. Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman stated “For most of us, standing firm doesn’t mean walking away just because you are afraid you won’t like the outcome. EPA might call that smart and strategic, but I call it cynical and cowardly. The American Farm Bureau charges that EPA touted their plan online through a blog.

EPA’s blog explained the agency simply decided “to stop spending resources on litigation regarding the farm in question.  The blog stated “we stand firm on this commitment to protect public health and the environment.” The withdrawal, they wrote, “does not change either the law across the country or EPA’s commitment to protecting water quality.”