Appeals Court blocks ruling favoring DEQ in animal waste regulation dispute


Carolina Journal

via The Richmond Observer (NC) - September 16, 2022


RALEIGH — A unanimous panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals has blocked a lower court ruling that would have allowed state environmental regulators to move forward with disputed animal waste regulations.


The panel issued an order Thursday granting a temporary stay to the N.C. Farm Bureau Federation. The Farm Bureau objects to a trial judge’s June 20 decision allowing the regulations to move forward.


The case could have implications for more than 2,000 N.C. farms with hogs, cattle, and poultry. The farms use a “lagoon-and-spray-field system” to address animal waste.


“In this case, Farm Bureau challenges the validity of three identical conditions that appear in three general permits that regulate certain animal waste activities that occur on the State’s cattle, swine, and wet waste poultry farms,” according to the Farm Bureau’s petition to the Appeals Court. “Specifically, Farm Bureau contends that DEQ’s inclusion of the three conditions in the permits (i.e., groundwater monitoring, phosphorus loss assessment tool analysis, and the filing of annual reports) violates North Carolina’s Administrative Procedure Act.”


“If imposed, the three conditions will require Farm Bureau’s farmer members who hold animal waste general permits to incur additional production and operational costs, comply with unnecessary and burdensome administrative requirements, restrict the use of their property, and invade the privacy of their business operations, including increasing the likelihood of disclosure of their confidential and other protected commercial business information,” according to Farm Bureau attorneys...