Farm Didn’t Violate Clean Water Act, Court Rules

     ALBANY, N.Y. (CN) – A dairy farm in East Genoa, N.Y., did not violate the Clean Water Act by dumping hazardous pollutants, the 2nd Circuit ruled.

     Fred Coon and his neighbors sued Willet Dairy, claiming the farm was not properly managing its animal waste and silage leachate.
     In a per curiam opinion, the circuit court ruled that the plaintiffs waived their rights to sue over any violations before July 1999, when the dairy farm obtained a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation. That would constitute a “wholly past violation, which cannot be the subject of a citizen suit,” the ruling states.
     Also, the circuit ruled at the permit shield provision of the Clean Water Act protected the dairy from the plaintiff’s claims after it obtained the permit.
     In addition, the court ruled that the farm did not need a permit to construct a stock pond for land that it was already using for farming.

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