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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Judge Rules that Manure is a Pollutant

A Federal Judge has ruled that a dairy farm in Washington is polluting ground water by over application of manure.  His ruling may change how manure application is regulated.  I suspect the case will go to the Supreme Court because the judge is ruling based on an act that specifically exempts manure application when it is used as fertilizer.  The Yakima Herald Republic seems to have the most complete story.  Click on the link. 

My comment is that farmers need to be diligent in how they manage manure and fertilizer in order to be seen as good neighbors.  In Illinois at least, Farmers must prove in their CNMP that they have enough land to properly apply the manure at rates that will minimize pollution.  The ruling also cites the fact that application records are incomplete.  One of the things we stress, is to keep good records.  One of our consultants works with a manure hauler who keeps application records on rate and location by GPS.  I am not sure how the plaintiff in this case proved that all of the pollution was caused by the dairy farm.  It seems to me that it would be a difficult case. 

This case certainly goes hand in hand with the case where the City of Des Moines is suing counties upstream for excessive nitrates in the Des Moines River. 

1 comment:

Ed Winkle said...

Good post. Look what's happened in Ohio already.