Local News

No exempt well water limit for livestock

By Associated Press
Dec 22, 2011

The Washington state Supreme Court says state law does not limit the amount of groundwater that can be pumped for livestock from a permit-exempt well.

The decision upholds a lower court's ruling in a case that involves a Franklin County cattle feedlot near Eltopia, north of Pasco.

Neighbors of the Easterday Ranches feedlot and environmental groups say pumping water for 30,000 head of cattle will deplete the groundwater supply. Easterday disputed that and said a state law that allows certain wells to be exempt from permit does not limit the amount of water to be pumped for livestock.

A Franklin County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the feedlot. The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the lower court's ruling on the issue.

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