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Idaho Dairymen's Ass'n, Inc. v. Gooding County

Citation: 40 ELR 20041
No. No. 35980, (Idaho, 02/01/2010)

The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision that a county ordinance, which included provisions regulating water quality at confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), was valid. Plaintiffs, associations of cattlemen and dairymen, argued that the ordinance was invalid because (1) it was impliedly preempted by the state; and (2) it violated their substantive due process rights. The court disagreed. In a number of state statutes, the Idaho legislature manifested an express intent not to preempt the field of regulating water quality at CAFOs. These statutes demonstrate that the legislature, at times, intended to delegate regulatory power to counties, and that the state has not comprehensively regulated water quality at CAFOs. In addition, the regulation of water quality at CAFOs does not call for a uniform regulatory scheme. The state’s diverse setting places each board of commissioners in the best position to know the needs of its community and, as a result, uniform regulation of water quality is not necessary. In regards to substantive due process rights, there was no substantive due process violation because there was a reasonable relationship between ordinance provisions and permissive legislative objectives.