The American Farm Bureau Federation, West Virginia Farm Bureau and West Virginia Poultry Farmer Lois Alt have filed a joint motion with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia to determine livestock and poultry farmers don’t need Clean Water Act discharge permits for ordinary stormwater runoff from their farmyards. The motion comes after the Court’s decision in April rejecting EPA’s efforts to dismiss the farmer’s case entirely to avoid defending its legal position in court. AFBF President Bob Stallman says Alt has courageously held her ground against EPA to defend her own farm and help stop EPA from using its muscle against other responsible farmers for the past year. Stallman says AFBF is honored to join with her to explain how EPA is misinterpreting the Clean Water Act and unlawfully using the full force of the government to force farmers to seek permits when they aren’t discharging waters.
Farm Bureau and Alt are asking the court to rule the stormwater from her farmyard is within the meaning of the Clean Water Act’s exemption for agricultural stormwater. The motion asks the court to rule EPA exceeded its authority in finding stormwater from her farmyard as Clean Water Act discharge and ordering her to obtain permit coverage. For the past decade – Stallman says AFBF has successfully challenged EPA’s efforts to require discharge permits for concentrated animal feeding operations that don’t discharge. He says this stand against EPA will help ensure EPA can’t get around those important court rulings by mischaracterizing rainwater from a well-run farm as an illegal discharge. EPA should file its own motion on August 1st.