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September 17, 2021

Earthrise and Food & Water Watch Earn a Victory Over Factory Farming

Yesterday the Ninth Circuit issued an excellent ruling in our favor in an important case about pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Idaho. CAFOs, also known as factory farms, are a significant source of water pollution in Idaho and across the country.

Teaming up with Food & Water Watch as co-counsel (including Earthrise alum Tarah Heinzen), we filed suit in the Ninth Circuit on behalf of Food & Water Watch and Snake River Waterkeeper. Our suit challenged EPA’s issuance of a general permit for CAFOs in Idaho. The thrust of our argument was that the permit fails to meet the Clean Water Act’s requirements that CAFOs sufficiently monitor their pollution. The court held that EPA’s permit was arbitrary and capricious and counter to the Clean Water Act, because it lacked the very monitoring requirements the statute requires. CAFOs in Idaho will now be required to comprehensively monitor and report on their waste discharge and water pollution for the first time. This case also has the potential to set precedent for how pollution from factory farms is regulated across the country.

Click here to check out Food & Water Watch’s news release about yesterday’s win.