Tuesday, October 15, 2013

CBF Challanges Exclusion from Chicken Shit Law Suit

A Chesapeake Bay preservation group is appealing a federal judge’s decision denying it permission to intervene in a lawsuit between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a Hardy County chicken farm.

On Sept. 25, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation appealed U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey’s July 30 ruling that prevented it from becoming an intervenor in the case. The ruling has been appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Lois Alt, owner of Eight is Enough Farm, is arguing the EPA overstepped its authority when it found her to be in violation of the Clean Water Act. The EPA withdrew its demand she seek a CWA permit after her lawsuit was filed, but Bailey has decided to rule on the issue because it could benefit thousands of farmers.

After denying intervenor status to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Bailey also denied its request to submit a friend-of-the-court brief. Bailey ruled Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s motion to intervene was untimely because it was submitted one day after the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment.
One presumes the EPA withdrew from the case because it felt it was unlikely to win on the merits of the case, and because the optics were starting to look unfavorable (Overzealous bureaucracy  goes after family farm for dust!).
When Alt was found in violation of the CWA, the EPA demanded she obtain a permit or face fines of $37,500 per day.

The EPA said stormwater runoff could come into contact with spilled manure and ventilation dust. Alt argued the discharges were exempt from the permitting process.

The EPA withdrew its demand in December after the lawsuit was filed. Bailey wrote that the same controversy persists despite the EPA’s withdrawal, noting the EPA has reserved the right to issue another such order in the event of a significant change in “circumstances or operations."
It's not like the EPA hasn't been willing to go to court in the past when they thought they had a good chance of winning, and in fact, they have been known to encourage people to sue them for not doing certain actions in the hope expectation of losing.

I wonder why CBF has a higher expectation, or are they just following through to be consistent?

No comments:

Post a Comment