June 2015Published Article

Yakima Case a Bellwether of Future Challenges Ahead

Hoard's Dairyman

"The dairy industry has been closely monitoring the environmental lawsuits brought by local and national activist groups against dairies in Washington’s Yakima Valley. A recently proposed settlement, precipitated by a federal judge’s decision in Washington, has the potential to impact every dairy farmer.

Manure ruled a 'solid waste'

In January 2015, in the most recent Lower Yakima Valley dairy decision, a federal judge in Washington decided that manure could be considered a 'solid waste.' Judge Thomas Rice noted that term is defined in the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) when manure is not used as a beneficial fertilizer or soil conditioner.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington also found that a dairy farm’s manure was 'excessively overapplied' and that this could constitute disposal of a solid waste under RCRA. The judge further found that the farm’s application, storage and management of manure were tantamount to 'open dumping' in violation of RCRA."

To read the full article, click here.

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