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Washington Federal Judge Holds Cow Palace Dairy Liable Under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act For Improper Handling of Manure and Contamination of Groundwater

January 15, 2015

Federal Judge Tom Rice of the Eastern District of Washington issued a ruling yesterday (January 14, 2015) against a Washington dairy that will likely have nation-wide implications for dairy industry.  In his ruling, the court found that one of the largest Yakima Valley dairies, Cow Palace, polluted groundwater through its application, storage and management of manure, causing an “imminent and substantial endangerment” to the environment and human health. This is the first time a federal court has ruled that improperly handled manure constitutes a solid waste to be managed pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The author assumes this decision will likely be appealed.

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