Skip to content
Grist home
Support nonprofit news

Articles by Kai Olson-Sawyer

Kai Olson-Sawyer is a Research and Policy Analyst in the GRACE Water and Energy Programs where he also works on H2O Conserve project operations. Prior to joining GRACE, Kai was employed at the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon and researched with NYC Apollo Alliance. His body is composed of 60 percent water.

Featured Article

Photo by Tonvolz.

Aerial shot of the Nelson Faria Dairy in Royal, Wash. Note the tiny dots that are the dairy cows congregating in the holding pens. (Image by Google Maps.)

In a precedent-setting decision earlier this month that received scant national coverage, a federal district court judge in Washington state ordered a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation), also known as a factory farm, to monitor groundwater, drainage, and soil for illegal pollution resulting from its grossly inadequate manure management practices in violation of the Clean Water Act. This first-ever ruling holding a CAFO accountable for its pollution was a result of a lawsuit by the nonprofit Community Association for Restoration of the Environment (CARE) against the Nelson Faria Dairy in Royal, Wash. The ruling upholds the terms of a 2006 settlement CARE had with the dairy’s previous owners, which the current owners subsequently ignored.

The case underscores one of the major problems with CAFOs, which is the massive amount of manure they produce and the manners by which operators dispose of it, which have major environmental implications. According to... Read more