Lawsuit Filed by Chesapeake Bay Foundation over Cattle Fencing in Virginia Dismissed in Richmond Circuit Court on July 9, 2015

On July 9, 2015, Richmond, Va., Circuit Court Judge C. N. Jenkins, Jr., dismissed the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Virginia over regulation of cattle access to streams.  Oral arguments had been heard on July 2, 2015.

CBF’s suit argued that a 10-year general permit approved by the Commonwealth in 2014 should have required cattle operations of over 200 head to keep livestock from streams.  Currently Virginia requires stream exclusion for cattle in confined feeding operations (of CAFOs) but not for pastured cattle.  The regulation at issue is “Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) General Permit Regulation for Animal Feeding Operations,” Sec. 9 VAC 25-192 in the Virginia Administrative Code; available online at http://register.dls.virginia.gov/details.aspx?id=4388.  CBF contended that the regulation’s prohibition on “applying” waste in streamside areas should apply to waste deposited by cattle, but Judge Jenkins upheld Virginia’s interpretation that the language applies only to human application of animal waste.

Sources:
Richmond court dismisses suit involving cow dung in streams, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/14/15.
Case explores whether cows “apply” their waste to streams, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/2/15.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Sues Va. Over Livestock Rules, Associated Press, as published by Baltimore Sun, 6/29/15.
CBF sues Virginia for not making livestock stream exclusion mandatory, Bay Journal, 6/29/15.
Is livestock dung in streams threatening the Chesapeake?, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/29/15.

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