Farm Bureau Looks to Join Lawsuit Against EPA
The American Farm Bureau Federation has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit concerning the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate poultry and livestock farms under the Clean Water Act. Farm Bureau is siding with a Virginia poultry grower who is challenging an EPA order demanding the grower obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System discharge permit. The agency's order threatens more than 37-thousand dollars in daily fines for storm water that may come into contact with dust, feathers or dander deposited on the ground outside of poultry house ventilation fans - or small amounts of manure that may be in the farmyard as a result of normal poultry farming operations. Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says this particular poultry grower runs an exemplary operation and has even won awards for the environmental stewardship practiced on the farm.
According to the Farm Bureau intervention papers - EPA's order represents another attempt to regulate non-discharging farmers with an unlawful narrowing of the statutory exemption for agricultural storm water discharges. The group has defeated EPA regulations that illegally attempted to impose broad NPDES permit requirements for livestock and poultry farmers in two prior court cases. Stallman says Farm Bureau has joined this lawsuit on behalf of the thousands of other livestock and poultry farmers threatened by EPA's extreme and unlawful restriction of the agricultural storm water exemption.
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