Farmers Prevail in Court Decision on EPA Livestock Rules


In a major court victory for AFBF and other farm organizations, a unanimous federal court of appeals has ruled that EPA cannot require livestock farmers to apply for Clean Water Act permits unless their farms actually discharge manure into U.S. waters.

The ruling was welcomed by Farm Bureau, the National Pork Producers Council and several other agriculture groups that filed suit against EPA in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

“For the second time, a U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that EPA’s authority is limited by the Clean Water Act to jurisdiction over only actual discharges to navigable waters, not potential discharges,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “We are pleased that the federal courts have again reined in EPA’s unlawful regulation of livestock operations under the Clean Water Act. The court has affirmed that EPA, like other federal agencies, can only regulate where it has been authorized by Congress to do so.”

In the ruling issued Tuesday, the 5th Circuit concluded: “The CWA provides a comprehensive liability scheme and the EPA’s attempt to supplement this scheme is in excess of its statutory authority.”

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