[7/3/19] Dairies Blamed for Groundwater Contamination

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One of Eastern Washington’s Congressional Representatives says a federal study that blamed dairies for groundwater contamination was flawed and should not be used against them. Republican Representative Dan Newhouse of Sunnyside says the 2012 federal nitrate study named Lower Yakima Valley dairies as a source for contamination of rural, domestic wells.

Newhouse this week asked the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend the study’s use in enforcement until a peer review is conducted. EPA and state Department of Ecology officials support the study and say a complete peer review was conducted. Some dairy producers were required to change animal waste handling procedures following lawsuits by environmental groups. Newhouse said the changes forced one dairy out of business and another to pay about $11 million.