In what agriculture groups call a victory, a federal court last week dismissed a lawsuit that would have forced the Environmental Protection Agency to impose strict nutrient standards on farmers in the Mississippi River Basin. The basin is the world’s second largest, draining nearly two-million-square-miles across 31 states. Environmental groups wanted the agency to impose regulations on the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous that could be in waters in the basin. Meat industry publication Meatingplace says the lawsuit piggybacked on a petition the environmental groups sent the EPA in 2008 asking the agency to draw up a regulation for the basin. However, the EPA declined the petition. In the more recent case, the plaintiffs argued that federal law required the EPA to determine whether to impose a regulation based on scientific data that they say shows current controls are not working, and the agency’s refusal to do so violates the law.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.