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Lawsuit settlement tightens rules for dairies

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Three dairies in Yakima Valley are operating under stricter sanitation standards following Monday’s resolution of a years-long lawsuit.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the Community Association for the Restoration of the Environment was behind the lawsuit filed in February 2013 that claimed the dairies were contaminating groundwater with improper manure management.

While the dairies admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, they agreed to double line lagoons used to store manure, and widened their scope of residents they deliver drinking water or filters to.

The case originally involved five dairies, but one closed and two consolidated for court proceedings. The three remaining agreed to the new standards, and to pay $300,000 in attorney’s fees.

Yakima attorney Brendan Monahan represented the dairies, and said he expects the regulations to become standard industrywide.

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