EPA said it pulled the rule "over concerns that it would duplicate other efforts to collect such information from CAFOs," Peterka writes. "EPA says it will work with state and other programs to collect the information using existing sources of information. . . . Livestock trade groups had harshly criticized the rule, arguing in public comments that it would violate ranchers' privacy and threaten the nation's food security."
The rule stemmed from the settlement of a lawsuit from the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Waterkeeper Alliance "that was a result of a lawsuit brought and won by the pork producers over EPA's 2008 CAFO rule," Peterka notes. "A federal court ruled that the Clean Water Act requires permitting only for CAFOs that actually discharge pollution rather than those with a potential for discharges. Under the withdrawn rule, CAFO owners would have had to report the number and types of animals they keep and the size of the area where manure would be applied. That did not satisfy the environmental groups, which argued that the settlement required EPA to gather data from CAFOs on the quantity of manure and other waste. (Read more; subscription may be required)