Cattle Feedlot Beats Fish Death Fine, God’s Heavy Rain to Blame

May 4, 2021, 9:13 PM

An ‘act of God’ rainstorm in 2015 caused the release of wastewater that killed thousands of fish in Colorado, not the actions of a cattle feedlot that was the source of the discharge, a very divided state Supreme Court said in a ruling throwing out a more than $625,000 state fine.

The state was required to show that 5 Star Feedlot Inc. acted in a way that killed the fish without proper authorization, according to the Colorado Supreme Court. Here, the only voluntary act performed by the company was the “lawful, years-long operation of wastewater containment ponds,” a plurality of...

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