Community Association for Restoration of the Environment, Inc. v. Cow Palace, LLC

80 F. Supp. 3d 1180 (2015)

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Community Association for Restoration of the Environment, Inc. v. Cow Palace, LLC

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
80 F. Supp. 3d 1180 (2015)

Facts

Cow Palace, LLC (the dairy) (defendant) was an animal-feeding operation located in the Yakima Valley of Washington state, with over 11,000 cows. The dairy produced milk, meat, crops, and manure. The dairy managed its manure production in multiple ways such as by composting and fertilizing crops. The Community Association for Restoration of the Environment (CARE) alleged that the dairy’s operations and management of its manure caused high concentrations of nitrate in the area’s groundwater. Thus, CARE filed a lawsuit alleging that the dairy engaged in open dumping of solid waste causing an imminent and substantial danger to the public and environment in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (the RCRA). The RCRA governs the treatment, storage, and disposal of solid and hazardous waste with the goal of minimizing the present and future threat to human health and the environment. The dairy contested the extent to which nitrate from its operations had affected the groundwater. The parties both filed several cross motions for summary judgment on various issues. In question in CARE’s motion for summary judgment was whether the dairy’s management of manure constituted open dumping of a solid waste.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rice, J.)

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