Fertilizer or Solid Waste: How far does RCRA spread?

February 26, 2015


ELI Professional Practice Webinar, US

McGuireWoods partner Dale Mullen was a panelist at this webinar hosted by the Environmental Law Institute.

On January 14, 2015, the Eastern District of Washington held that Cow Palace Dairy LLC is liable under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for storing, applying and managing manure in a way that poses a substantial and imminent endangerment to public health in violation of open dumping provisions.

This opinion is significant because it defines Cow Palace’s manure as solid waste under RCRA. The court focused on the manner in which Cow Palace stored and used the manure to determine that RCRA exemptions, such as the agricultural waste exemption for fertilizer, did not apply.

ELI presented a dynamic discussion on the definition of solid waste under RCRA. What are the confines or lack thereof for the definition of solid waste? Why can the same byproduct, in this case manure, be regulated waste in one case and unregulated fertilizer in a separate case? What does this case mean for RCRA practitioners, the regulated industry, non-profit advocacy and government regulation moving forward?  

For more details, please visit www.eli.org.

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