Description: Challenge to the Pollution Control Hearing Board's approval of general permits for concentrated animal feeding operations.
Washington State Dairy Federation v. Washington Department of Ecology
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/29/2021 Opinion Download Approval of permits affirmed in part and reversed in part, and permits remanded for rewriting. Washington Appellate Court Sent CAFO Permits Back to Agency for Consideration of Climate Impacts and Other Issues. The Washington Court of Appeals held that the Pollution Control Hearing Board erred when it approved the Washington Department of Ecology’s general permits for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Among the inadequacies found by the court was Ecology’s failure to consider climate change in drafting the permits. The court agreed with environmental groups that Ecology had a responsibility under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) to consider climate change impacts “to the extent that it must interpret its rules and statutes consistently with SEPA’s mandates.” The approval of the permit was therefore contrary to law because climate change had to be considered “to some extent” in order for Ecology to act consistently with implementing regulations under the Clean Water Act and the Water Pollution Control Act.