April 23, 2019 Feature

Citizens of Washington State Work to Fill Gaps in Regulation of Surface and Groundwater Pollution from CAFOs

Sarah A. Matsumoto

Citizens of Washington State have taken an active role in trying to address water pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). From large chapters of national nonprofits, to region-specific environmental groups, to neighborhoods, community associations, and individuals, the level of engagement and concern for water quality is laudable. However, the efforts and enthusiasm of an engaged citizenry are frequently hindered by a complicated statutory and regulatory scheme, including a sizeable gap covering polluted groundwater in rural areas. Preventing and remediating surface and groundwater pollution from large agricultural operations, in particular, continues to pose a challenge.

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