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Robinson & McElwee Obtains Favorable Results for Farmers Against EPA

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November 8, 2013

With implications for livestock producers nationwide, a West Virginia federal judge ruled in favor of a West Virginia chicken farm in its fight against the Environmental Protection Agency over the Clean Water Act.

Judge John Preston Bailey, chief judge for the Northern District, said that storm water run off from the nonproduction areas (such as the areas between the chicken houses)  of a concentrated animal feeding operation is agricultural storm water, not a point source discharge, thus making it exempt from the federal Clean Water Act NPDES permitting.

Lois Alt, owner of the Eight is Enough farm, challenged EPA’s insistence that she obtain a NPDES permit for her farm because she was concerned about the precedent she would set for other farmers if she did so.  She was represented by David Yaussy of W.V.-based Robinson & McElwee, with significant support from The West Virginia Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation. Mr. Yaussy has over 25 years of experience handling energy and environmental issues and litigation, environmental permitting and administrative appeals for the natural gas, chemical, manufacturing,  and agriculture industries.