Group says state must keep waste out of river

US - State cattle operators have formed an unusual alliance with the Washington Department of Ecology to fight an environmental group's effort to tighten wastewater regulations.
calendar icon 23 January 2007
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The lawsuit between Ecology and the Western Environmental Law Center, based in Eugene, Ore., claims the state isn't doing enough to keep animal waste from Washington dairies and feedlots out of aquifers and river systems.

Several Northwest cattle advocacy groups are intervening on behalf of Ecology in the case, which is scheduled to go before the state Pollution Control Hearings Board in May.

Cattle operators say there already are enough waste management restrictions on their operations.

But the Oregon lawyers say Ecology's newest permit system -- required by the Environmental Protection Agency under the federal Clean Water Act -- isn't doing enough to protect water quality from ever-expanding cattle operations.

Melodie Selby, a state Ecology senior policy analyst, said state officials, farmers, environmental advocates and shellfish growers developed the permit system over three years. All involved agree it's unusual for the cattle groups to side with Ecology.

Source: Tri City Herald

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