Description: Challenge to environmental review for Animal Confinement Facilities Plan, Dairy Feedlot and Dairy Climate Action Plan, and related actions approved by Tulare County in California to streamline approval process for dairies.
Sierra Club v. County of Tulare
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/11/2018 Petition for Writ of Mandate Download Petition for peremptory writ of mandate and complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief filed. Environmental Groups Said California County’s Permitting Plan for Dairies Did Not Adequately Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court alleging that Tulare County violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when it approved an Animal Confinement Facilities Plan (ACFP), a related General Plan Amendment and zoning change, and a Dairy Feedlot and Dairy Climate Action Plan. The groups alleged that “[t]he dairy industry in Tulare County is a multi-billion dollar industry” and that the ACFP was “intended to make approval of new or expanded dairies quicker and easier.” The groups said the environmental impact report (EIR) prepared by the County failed to adequately describe the environmental baseline, failed to consider any greenhouse gas mitigation measures that would result in substantial reductions of the EIR’s projected increases in emissions, and improperly deferred formulation of greenhouse gas reduction mitigation measures without adopting a meaningful threshold of significance or performance standard or a commitment to ensuring emissions would be adequately mitigated. The groups also said the streamlined CEQA procedures described in the EIR improperly exempted new expansion projects from review if they generate less than 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and meet certain siting requirements. The EIR said that the three largest sources of greenhouse emissions would be manure decomposition, enteric digestion, and emissions from farm agricultural soils.