- According to a federal judge's ruling, Cow Palace, a large industrial dairy, has been polluting Washington area drinking water due to its improper handling of the application, storage and management of manure.
- U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice of Spokane called the groundwater pollution an "imminent and substantial endangerment" to the environment and those living in the area.
- The pollution was mainly cited for containing high levels of nitrates, which is considered a dangerous contamination.
The federal judge's decision was a big win for environmental groups, including the Community Association for Restoration of the Environment and the Center for Food Safety, who filed the lawsuit against the dairy. The decision has now set precedents for action against environmental pollution across the nation.
Jessica Culpepper, attorney for Public Justice who acted as legal representation for the environmental activists, explained the two new national environmental standards:
1) Improperly managed waste was deemed a solid waste, instead of a beneficial farm product, for the first time by federal courts.
2) For the first time, the judge ruled that farm animals would be included under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which oversees solid and hazardous waste disposal.