A West Virginia chicken producer who sued the Environmental Protection Agency over threatened water-pollution fines is continuing her fight.
The dispute began after the EPA in November 2011 ordered Lois Alt to pay $37,500 in fines each time stormwater came into contact with dust, feathers or small amounts of manure on the ground outside of her poultry houses as a result of normal poultry production operations. The agency also listed separate fines of $37,500 per day if she failed to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permit.
In response, Alt filed a suit against the EPA over new rules aimed at Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The American Farm Bureau Federation and West Virginia Farm Bureau sided with Alt and joined in the suit.
Not long after the organizations joined in Alt’s suit, the EPA withdrew its order, but the plaintiffs have not withdrawn their suit against the federal agency.
U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld says the government thinks the lawsuit is moot, according to the Associated Press . Alt, however, doesn’t want to dismiss the case without further action by the EPA, contending the underlying issues still must be addressed because they could affect chicken farmers nationwide. Ihlenfeld asked U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey on January 17 to put pending motions for summary judgment on hold, while the parties discuss what actions may get Alt to dismiss her case.