After fighting long and hard for victory against the overproduction and improper dumping of cow manure, communities in Yakima, WA are rejoicing again after a recent settlement with the responsible dairy farms.
In January, a Washington judge determined that mega-dairies in Yakima Valley were "essentially using their crop fields, compost piles and cow pens as a giant open dump." The extent of the contamination of the communities' water supply proven by scientific testing and evidence was undeniable in court. The dairies' use of manure had nothing to do with fertilizing, and they were putting the public at risk for harm with their actions.
More recently, the dairies and the community groups came to a settlement, creating a national model for how other mega-dairies in the United States should operate. Not only are major changes coming to the ways in which the mega-dairies function and handle their excess manure, they will have to provide safe, alternative drinking water to individuals within a three mile downgradient radius until the surrounding ground water falls below safe level for contamination and remains there for two years.
Find out more about the new restrictions put on Yakima County dairy farms here.
This is a triumphant victory for the communities who fought for clean drinking water for over twenty years.
Source: Daily Kos