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Friday, June 14, 2013

Thanks heavens this poultry farmer sued the EPA or they would have gotten away with being a big bully.

Not persuaded by Alt’s response, EPA replied by arguing that any precipitation that mixed with the fan-blown dust or manure constituted a discharge for which Alt needed an NPDES permit. The EPA also asserted that there was no agricultural stormwater exemption for the alleged discharge flowing from Alt’s farm. EPA conducted a subsequent inspection of Alt’s farm on May 23, 2012. However, Alt filed suit before receiving the results of the EPA’s latest inspection.
Alt has requested the court to provide the following: (1) a declaration that the mix of precipitation, dust, feathers or dander from the poultry house ventilation fans is merely agricultural stormwater for which no NPDES permit is required; (2) a declaration that any mix of stormwater and manure that is present in small quantities as a normal incident of poultry farming is merely agricultural stormwater that requires no NPDES permit; and (3) a declaration that the EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously by requiring Alt to obtain an NPDES permit and to invalidate EPA’s order requiring the same.
After Alt filed suit, the court allowed the Farm Bureaus to join the lawsuit to protect the interests of farmers who wanted to resolve similar issues. Soon after, EPA’s director, Jon M. Capacasa, advised Alt’s lawyer that EPA would withdraw the Violation Order requiring Alt to obtain an NPDES permit. EPA then asked the court to dismiss Alt’s case arguing that EPA’s withdrawal of the Violation Order mooted Alt’s claims.