Thursday, August 29, 2013

Activist Groups Sue EPA Over Withdrawal of Proposed CAFO Reporting Rule

On August 28, 2013, several environmental and other activist groups filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to the agency’s withdrawal of the Proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Reporting Rule. Plaintiffs contend that the withdrawal of the rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act. The rule, which would have required CAFOs located in focus watersheds to submit certain information about their operations to the EPA, was proposed under the Clean Water Act as part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting program.  

The agency withdrew the proposed rule in July of 2012. According to the complaint, the only reason the EPA gave for withdrawal of the rule was because it believed that it was more appropriate to determine CAFO information from existing sources like the United States Department of Agriculture. Plaintiffs contend that without the rule, the agency will not be able to fulfill the requirements under the Clean Water Act to regulate CAFO pollution, and that the agency did not give a reasonable explanation for the removal of the rule.

For more information, please see the complaint.
Written by Sarah L. Doyle - Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
August 29, 2013

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