Environmental Groups Sue Over Dairy Farm Animal Waste

A coalition of environmental groups is suing the state of New York to regulate industrial dairy farms and their handling of animal waste.

The coalition is suing the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for its deregulation of industrial dairy farms with 200 to 299 cows. The move allows medium-size dairy CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) to operate without a permit, which could result in untreated cow manure run-off that could contaminate nearby waters, according to a news release from the coalition.

Operating without a permit violates state and federal law, the coalition claims. The groups are represented in the lawsuit by Pace Law School's Environmental Litigation Clinic and Earthjustice.

 “The burden of the massive amounts of manure and other waste generated by industrial-sized dairy facilities is borne by the communities who live near them and by the environment,” said Eve Gartner, the Earthjustice attorney handling the case.

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