Van Kley Law, LLC
practical insight in environmental law


Jack grew up on a farm and has been a friend of agriculture ever since.

Jack Van Kley represents agricultural trade associations and farms of all sizes — large, medium, and small. Our clients produce livestock, poultry, grain, and other agricultural products. Jack has been a friend of agriculture for many years, handling their legal issues and participating in their trade events. Jack grew up on a farm. As a result, he has an in-depth understanding of the challenges confronting farmers.


We advise our clients on environmental laws that can result in liability or even cripple a farm if not timely addressed. By dealing with environmental risks before they grow into problems, we can help minimize the potential for government enforcement, neighbor disputes, and negative publicity resulting from inadvertent violations of environmental laws.

Enforcement Defense and Litigation

Farmers find themselves in a maze of increasingly complex environmental laws. It’s not unusual for even the most conscientious farmer to become a target of an environmental lawsuit, administrative order, notice of violation, or demand letter. Neighbors and environmental organizations are also filing lawsuits against farmers. For example, a neighbor may allege that the farm is causing algae blooms, odors, toxic air emissions, fish kills, manure discharges, or other nuisance conditions. An environmental organization may contend that a farm is violating an environmental law such as the Clean Air Act or Clean Water Act.

We assist our farming clients in negotiating reasonable resolutions of those claims when appropriate — but when the stakes are high or the claims are unreasonable or unjustified, we defend our clients forcefully and diligently. In either case, we draw on our decades of experience and our knowledge as former government enforcement attorneys to inform our clients’ defense strategy.


We assist agricultural trade associations in drafting, commenting on, modifying, and testifying about legislation and regulations on environmental issues affecting agriculture.

Permits and Nutrient Management Plans

More and more, farms are being required to apply for environmental permits. We work with government agencies to obtain permits to construct and operate livestock and poultry farms and other operations. In other cases, agencies are pressuring farmers to develop nutrient management plans. We assist clients in negotiating fair and reasonable plan or permit conditions, defending against unjustified government demands, and appealing unnecessarily costly or stringent requirements.

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