Environmental groups have set their sights on five dairies in the Yakima Valley of Washington state for alleged groundwater pollution.
According to the Yakima Herald, the Community Association for the Restoration of the Environment (CARE) and the Center for Food Safety jointly filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court two weeks ago against four of the dairies.
And last week, they filed suit against a fifth dairy, alleging that the dairy did not prevent manure from contaminating private, residential wells used for drinking water. Read more here.
In 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency studied the situation and issued a report. Though the study was limited and could not provide a conclusive source of the contamination, officials singled out five local dairies as the likely cause. Even with the possible link, the report's authors admitted that the region's entire nitrate contamination problem could not be blamed solely on those dairies.
"The dairies that we sampled are the only ones we could draw this conclusion about because we didn't look at all the dairies," said Mike Cox, an EPA scientist.
The Daily Sun News reports that the EPA study is now being used in the lawsuits filed by CARE and the Center for Food Safety.