Wednesday, August 15, 2012

EPA to Farm Bureau: Butt Out!

EPA: Farm bureaus shouldn't join W.Va. lawsuit
The Environmental Protection Agency says the American Farm Bureau and its West Virginia counterpart shouldn't be allowed to intervene in a federal lawsuit over new wastewater rules for an Eastern Panhandle chicken farm because the outcome will affect only one operator.

The farm bureaus contend that as veteran advocates, they have "particular expertise in the legal issues at hand," and may be in a better position to fight the EPA than Eight is Enough farm operator Lois Alt. They also argue that the outcome of her case could affect their other members.

But in a motion opposing their intervention, the EPA argued Monday the outcome of Alt's case will affect only her Hardy County farm, and other farmers can bring their own lawsuits.
This is a very interesting stand on behalf of EPA with regard to non-profits.  In many cases, EPA encourages nonprofits such as the Chesapeake Bay Program, the Sierra Club etc, to file suit against it, to force it to create and enforce regulations which staff at the EPA would like to have in force, but which they currently lack the authority to enforce.  The EPA has even been known to hold workshops on how to sue to EPA.

However, in this case, if, with the Farm Bureau's expertise, the Eight is Enough Farm should be able to prevail, it's likely that other farmers would benefit from the precedent  established.  Thus, in this particular case, it is against the EPA's "interest" (defined broadly) to have the Farm Bureau participate, and clearly in the Farm Bureau's members interests to bring as much legal expertise as possible to this case.

Which reminds me of a case I saw by way of Instapundit today:  Progressive Insurance provides legal assistance to the driver who may have killed one of it's insuree's. Goal? To save money, of course.

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