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Judge: W.Va. farmer's EPA lawsuit will be heard

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A judge says he won't dismiss a lawsuit over rules the Environmental Protection Agency imposed on a West Virginia chicken farmer it said was polluting the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Lois Alt claims the EPA is overstepping its authority, even though it withdrew violation notices and proposed fines against her Hardy County farm in December.

EPA argued the case was moot. But U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey denied EPA's motion to dismiss because underlying issues need to be addressed.

He says EPA hasn't changed its position that some chicken farms are concentrated animal feeding operations that require water-pollution permits. It issued virtually identical orders to two other farmers in West Virginia and Virginia.

Bailey says it's clear EPA is exerting authority that the American Farm Bureau says it doesn't have.


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