Supreme Court receives friend of the court briefs in manure case
Business groups and environmental groups filed amicus briefs in a case the Supreme Court will settle regarding manure spreading on farm fields.
Friend of the court briefs have been filed with the Michigan Supreme Court in a case over manure regulation. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Legal Center of the National Federation of Independent Business support the Farm Bureau’s contention that the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy made new rules without following the Administrative Procedures Act.
The Michigan Appeals Court agreed.
EGLE officials say they didn’t make new rules, they merely updated requirements in permits for big livestock farms (often called confined animal feeding operations, or CAFO) regarding when, where, and how much manure could be applied to farm fields. The agency says too much manure has been polluting water — enough that it violated water quality standards.
EGLE reviews and updates the permits every five years.
The Attorney General appealed the case on behalf of the environmental agency.
Several environmental groups, including the Environmental Law and Policy Center, have also filed a friend of the court brief with the state Supreme Court. That brief says if the Appeals Court ruling stands it will turn Michigan’s environmental protection on its ear and condemn Michigan’s water to permanent impairment.
It adds the permits are not rules, they are licenses, and conditions for them can be changed as necessary and as required by laws on water quality standards.