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Askins v. Ohio Department of Agriculture

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20265
Nos. 3:14-cv-1699, (N.D. Ohio, 12/02/2014) (Katz, J.)

A district court denied individuals' motion to enjoin the Ohio Department of Agriculture from issuing NPDES permits for concentrated animal feeding operations absent authorization from EPA. The plaintiffs failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits. The Ohio Department of Agriculture does not issue the permits; rather, that responsibility lies with Ohio's environmental agency. Further, the transfer of this responsibility from Ohio’s environmental agency to the Ohio Department of Agriculture has not been approved by EPA. As such, the request for a preliminary injunction would be for naught as the Ohio Department of Agriculture does not currently issue the NPDES permits. Nor would plaintiffs suffer an irreparable injury absent the preliminary injunction, as they seek to enjoin an action that does not exist. Likewise, the grant of the injunction would not be in the public interest since it seeks to prevent events that will not occur.