Two dairy farms in eastern Washington have violated a consent decree requiring them to make improvements in how they handle manure.

The dairies, George DeRuyter & Sons Dairy and affiliate D&A Dairy, had agreed in 2015 to line manure storage lagoons and inspect their underground conveyance systems, among other provisions. But the Community Association for Restoration of the Environment and the Center for Food Safety contended, and U.S. District Judge Thomas Rice agreed, that the dairies had failed to comply with either of those requirements.

Of the inspection, the dairies “now complain that (it) may be too expensive and also question whether the inspection is reasonable or necessary,” the judge said. However, the dairies “voluntarily entered into the consent decree and are bound by its terms. The only issue remaining is what sanction the court should impose for failure to timely comply and the imposition of a future date certain to comply.”

The judge ordered the plaintiffs to file briefs in May and June addressing sanctions and deadlines to comply.

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