Editor's note: This space usually has a blog by Gary H. Baise, about decisions or actions in the courts or before EPA which have a direct bearing on American agriculture.
Mr. Baise is lead trial counsel for Rose Acre Farms, Inc. of Seymour, Ind. He and his team recently won a major case against the state of North Carolina and indirectly against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of North Carolina is delegated by EPA to issue Clean Water Act NPDES permits.
We at Farm Futures believe this may be a case of first impression. The case decision by an administrative judge declares for the first time that a state agency may not force a concentrated animal feeding operation to have a Clean Water Act permit for the discharges of air emissions of ammonia and particulate matter from fans on the end of buildings.
North Carolina took the position that these emissions might be deposited into waters of the state from the atmosphere causing water pollution. North Carolina also attempted to impose best management practices which would have required certain feed be supplied to the laying hens.
As a service to agriculture, we believe this opinion is worth reading by all those involved in animal agriculture. The opinion is 17 pages which cannot be accommodated in Mr. Baise's usual space. Mr. Baise cannot comment on this case as the lead trial lawyer because the matter will likely be appealed. Therefore we provide the following link to the opinion entitled Rose Acre Farms, Inc. and North Carolina Poultry Federation, Inc. v North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, In The Office Of Administrative Hearings 10 EHR 6501.
Rose Acre Farms.pdf