In the News

Citizens Bring Suit to Clean Up Air Pollution from Industrial Dairies in Lower Yakima Valley

Seeking to hold industrial dairies accountable for their release of hazardous air pollutants, citizens filed a lawsuit against one of the biggest dairies in the state of Washington. On behalf of the Community Association for Restoration of the Environment (CARE), the Western Environmental Law Center filed suit in federal district court on April 23, 2008 seeking to require DeRuyter Brothers Dairy to obtain permits under the Clean Air Act and limit its methanol pollution.
Complaint (full text)Press Release

Information and Resources

America’s Animal Factories: How States Fail to Prevent Pollution from Livestock Waste

This Natural Resources Defense Council report describes the environmental and public health impacts of pollution generated by factory farms. Includes activist contacts and resources.

Department of Ecology Publications

Includes all 149 rules and more than 1,700 publications.

Dereliction of Duty: Washington’s failure to protect our shared waters

Discusses the current problems with water law enforcement and the protection of stream flows in Washington, and provides a ten-year retrospective of the political dynamics at the Department of Ecology and the State Legislature that have compounded these problems. Practical solutions are then presented that can help the state to ensure that water use is sustainable and that shared waters are preserved for future generations. (Washington Environmental Council, March 2002.)

Environmental Information

Chemical, water, waste, and other information from the Washington Department of Ecology.

Quality of Ground Water in Private Wells in the Lower Yakima Valley, 2001-02

A study of private wells in the lower Yakima Valley (WA), home to more than 70 dairies and 62,000 milk cows. Wells in the area neighboring 90% of dairy operations were found to contain much higher levels of nitrate – which can be harmful to human health – than other communities. (Valley Institute for Research and Education, December 2002.)
Fast internet connection: Download entire document (4.6 MB)
Slow internet connection: Download in parts: Part 1 (1.2 MB) Part 2 (1 MB) Part 3 (1.2 MB) Part 4 (1 MB)

State Information

Provides state legislative information along with documents related to state and local government. (Washburn University School of Law.)

US Farms – State Fact Sheets

Links for each state, with current information about farm size, financial status, rural employment, land use, and more. (USDA.)

Water Quality in the Puget Sound Basin, Washington and British Columbia, 1996-98

Water quality assessment report from the US Geological Survey.

State and Local Government


CARE (Community Association for the Restoration of the Environment)

A nonprofit, volunteer organization founded in 1997 to expose and bring to a halt to the harmful effects of factory farming. CARE uses activism, educational programs, and court victories to build a network of active individuals and organizations combating factory farms across the country. Working in collaboration with WELC (Western Environmental Law Center), CARE has spearheaded litigation to force polluting factory operations to “clean up their act.”


Administrative Code 173-220

NPDES Permit Regulations.

Dairy Nutrient Management Act

Rules, regulations, and permitting information for concentrated dairy animal feeding operations, from the Washington State Conservation Commission.