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Originally published Monday, June 8, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Local Digest

Dairy-pollution suit dropped

A citizens group has dropped its federal-court lawsuit against a Washington state dairy that sought to limit methanol pollution.

A citizens group has dropped its federal-court lawsuit against a Washington state dairy that sought to limit methanol pollution.

According to the lawsuit filed in April in U.S. District Court in Spokane, the methanol is emitted into the air by animal waste and silage.

The suit was filed by the group Community Association for Restoration of the Environment, based in Granger, Yakima County, and also known as CARE, against DeRuyter Brothers Dairy of Outlook, also Yakima County. It contended the dairy should be required to obtain permits under the Clean Air Act.

The Yakima Herald-Republic said CARE had hopes of using the DeRuyter case to force dairies to apply for state and federal permits under the Clean Air Act for emitting 10 tons or more of methanol a year. Methanol from decomposing manure and silage is identified as a hazardous air pollutant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Environmentalists have been largely unsuccessful in bringing the federal Clean Air Act to bear on the emissions of gases from large animal-feeding operations.

"It's very difficult to do," said Frank Mitloehner, associate professor and air-quality specialist at the University of California, Davis.

Times staff and news services

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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