Environmental Groups React to West Virginia Factory Farm Decision - Waterkeeper

Environmental Groups React to West Virginia Factory Farm Decision

By: Waterkeeper Alliance

Today a federal district court in West Virginia ruled that pollutants carried by rain from the farmyard of an industrial poultry facility are not subject to the protective permitting provisions of the Clean Water Act. The case arose when the facility sued the Environmental Protection Agency. Although the facility conceded that pollutants from its poultry confinement houses were being discharged into the South Branch of the Potomac River, it claimed that it could not be required to operate under a permit.

Potomac Riverkeeper, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, Waterkeeper Alliance, Center for Food Safety, Food and Water Watch and Earthjustice intervened on behalf of EPA to support the need for a protective Clean Water Act permit for this industrial factory farm and have this statement:

“We are disappointed in the court’s ruling and are deeply concerned that the ruling will make it more difficult to restore the health of waterways across the country, including the Chesapeake Bay. These waterways have been contaminated by livestock excrement and other pollution from factory farms. The court’s decision, if it stands, could have devastating impacts on the health of our rivers, streams and lakes and our communities. Moving forward, we will be considering all of our legal options.”



Abigail Seiler, Center for Food Safety, (443) 854-4368, [email protected]

Eve Gartner, Earthjustice: (917) 658-6506, [email protected]

Scott Edwards, Food & Water Watch: (202) 683-4969, [email protected]

Robin Broder, Potomac Riverkeeper: (703) 786-8172, [email protected]

Blair FitzGibbon, Waterkeeper Alliance, (202) 503-6141, [email protected]

Angie Rosser, West Virginia Rivers Coalition: (304)637-7201, [email protected]