Friday, October 12, 2012

Farmers Win Right To Help Fellow in Fight With EPA

A judge is letting the American and West Virginia Farm Bureaus intervene in an Eastern Panhandle chicken grower's lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency.

U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey ruled this week that the case Lois Alt and her Eight is Enough farms brought over alleged violations of the Clean Water Act has implications for both bureaus' members.

They'd argued that a favorable outcome for EPA would obligate chicken farmers nationwide to seek permits they don't all currently need.
EPA actively fought the Farm Bureau's attempts to help a fellow farmer, claiming that:
"Legal expertise does not justify intervention," the agency argues. Under the farm bureaus' reasoning, it says, any poultry grower and any farm designated as a "concentrated animal feeding operation" would be allowed to intervene in what is a site-specific case.
Huh?  Why should anyone be not allowed to lend their legal expertise to anyone they choose, particularly when the case clearly has the potential to impact other members  of the interest group?  At least the judge seems to agree with me.

Some of the facts of the case are amusing as well:
Last fall, EPA determined that dust, feathers and fine particles of dander and manure from Alt's poultry house ventilation fans could land on the ground, come into contact with stormwater and flow into ditches, eventually reaching Chesapeake Bay tributaries.
So, this is basically a case about chicken dandruff? Looks to me kind of like EPA was looking for a few farmers to crucify.

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