(CN) – The San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District failed to adequately assess the health impacts of a permit process for managing waste emissions at large animal facilities, a California appeals court ruled.
As part of new legislation adopted to regulate agricultural emissions, the district passed a rule establishing the permit process for animal facilities.
The Association of Irritated Residents challenged the process, claiming the district failed to regulate ammonia and reduce volatile organic compound emissions, and acted arbitrarily and capriciously by making emission-reduction claims without adequate support.
The trial court denied the petition, but the appeals court said the district failed to address how the specific rule would affect public health.
“If the goal is healthier air,” Justice Wiseman wrote, “the district has not shown whether it has taken steps toward reaching that goal.”
The court reinstated the residents’ petition, directing the district to submit a report on the permit rule’s health impacts.