GRANGER, Wash. — Although the state government ordered the formation of a Groundwater Management Area two years ago in Washington to find solutions to a nitrate pollution problem in the Lower Yakima Valley, the committee has been at a standstill for some time, according to an article by the Yakima Herald.

Ongoing litigation between an environmental group and five dairies that allegedly caused manure pollution have held up any problem solving by the committee, the article reported.

According to the article, researchers need to carry out studies to formulate solutions, but the farmers are hesitant to participate lest the information found be used against them in future lawsuits.

Data from a previous study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed that the dairies contributed to the nitrate pollution, but EPA and dairy owners negotiated a plan to fix the issue instead of penalties or legal action.

Read the full article here.