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Appeals Court Upholds Decision Barring Factory Farms from Water Pollution in Michigan

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Michigans News page, Factory Farm page, and our Environment page.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld a Newaygo County judge's decision that sustained a state rule intended to prevent large "factory farms" from polluting surface waters.

In a decision released Wednesday, a three-judge panel affirmed a January 2009 ruling by Newaygo County Circuit Judge Anthony Monton.

The case was a lawsuit by the Michigan Farm Bureau and other farm groups against the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

The farm groups challenged whether the DEQ could require all concentrated animal feeding operations, known as CAFOs, to obtain pollution discharge permits based on their potential to pollute.

Those permits, issued under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, regulate the amount of manure and other pollutants that CAFOs may discharge to surface waters. 

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