Groups petition EPA to improve oversight of water pollution
A nationwide coalition of 51 citizens' groups and community advocacy, environmental justice, and environmental advocacy organizations, together representing tens of millions of people, in partnership with Earthjustice, has petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve its oversight of water pollution from industrial-scale concentrated animal feeding operations, commonly known as Large CAFOs.
The petitioning groups argue that improved oversight of Large CAFOs is necessary to satisfy the federal Clean Water Act and executive orders to advance environmental justice. But it's not the only pressure the agency is under to better regulate CAFO pollution.
Last month, a group led by the nonprofit Food & Water Watch sued the EPA after the agency failed to respond to a 2017 petition to strengthen CAFO pollution oversight via the Clean Water Act. Dodge County Concerned Citizens (DCCC) serves as a petitioner in the Food & Water Watch action. DCCC also supports the petition filed by Earthjustice and submitted the Declaration of Sonja Trom Eayrs. The Trom family farm in rural Dodge County is situated at the headwaters of the Cedar River and is surrounded by 12 swine factory farms in a 3-mile radius. Both petitions share the goal of better protecting communities from the environmental and health hazards associated with CAFO pollution.