In a unanimous decision, a federal court ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cannot require livestock operations to obtain Clean Water Act (CWA) permits unless and until they have a discharge of manure into a waterway of the United States. The decision is a major victory for pork producers, said the National Pork Producers Council.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans said that EPA exceeded its statutory authority in requiring concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that propose or that might discharge to apply for CWA permits.
NPPC, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the United Egg Producers and several other agricultural groups sued EPA over its so-called CAFO rule, which was issued in 2008 after EPA’s core provision in the initial 2003 regulation was struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York City. In that 2005 decision, the court ruled that the CWA requires permits only for producers who actually discharge. EPA had sought to require permits even for operations that had a “potential” to discharge.
Source: National Pork Producers Council