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CFOs, CAFOs in the spotlight

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Aside from a new disclosure law enacted in 2009 requiring certain permit applicants to acknowledge past spills and whether those instances amount to an environmental or public health danger, the environmental industry has been focused on new regulations and legislation in recent months. Most of Indiana’s nearly 2,000 livestock farms that are currently considered confined animal feeding operations will eventually be covered by new confined feeding operations regulations that IDEM approved in November. The new rules take effect July 1, 2012, and can be found online.

The changes include the removal of a requirement that any large animal feeding operation that “proposes to discharge” pollutants into waters of the state – but doesn’t actually discharge – obtain a National Pollution Discharge Elimination Permit. The new regulations also include a prohibition on spreading manure on frozen or snow-covered ground at these operations, limitations on phosphorus content, and a provision that allows IDEM to require large CAFOs to monitor groundwater.

The Indiana General Assembly is also considering legislation that would provide CAFOs with a legal defense against frivolous nuisance lawsuits. Opponents worry that the bill would discourage people from seeking redress from CAFOs as a result of noxious odors, water pollution, and declining property values. House Bill 1091 was pending in the Senate at IL deadline.•

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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