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<i>Waterkeeper Alliance, Inc. v. EPA</i>: Why It Is Important

July 2007

Citation: 36 ELR 10566

Issue: 7

Author: John C. Becker

Editors' Summary: On February 28, 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated and remanded portions of EPA's concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) rule. The ruling was not a win for either side of the debate, as it requires permitting authorities to review and incorporate nutrient management plans into their permits, but prevents EPA from requiring CAFOs to apply for permits based solely on their potential to discharge pollutants to U.S. waters. EPA, per the court's remand order, is working on a new version of the rule, and environmental groups, the farm industry, and other interested stakeholders are monitoring the issue closely. In this Article, Prof. John C. Becker analyzes the court's decision, focusing not only on how the ruling impacts parties directly involved in the case, but also on its implications for environmental law generally.


John C. Becker is a Professor of Agricultural Economics and Law at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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