EPA: You got a permit for that?

Source: Progressive Farmer; Southeast edition
Publication date: 2003-02-01
Arrival time: 2003-03-13


EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman has put more than 11,000 U.S. livestock farms on notice. The Confined Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, will join about 4,000 larger operations, which are already regulated, in a new world of permits and complex record- keeping requirements. And they'll have to get those permits from the EPA if they want to continue functioning.

USDA Secretary Ann Veneman joined with Whitman in making the announcement. But make no mistake as to who is calling the shots: Livestock producers will report to the EPA, not the USDA.

Livestock industry groups are less than thrilled by the new rules. Groups like the Farm Bureau and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association seem more pleased with the Bush administration version of the rules than those proposed by the Clinton administration. Still, there are concerns.

The American Farm Bureau Federation, like the NCBA, emphasized that without significant new EQIP money from the USDA, little environmental progress could be made if the rules are too costly for farmers to carry out.

Another Farm Bureau concern: "We believe the land application restrictions on spreading manure and other nutrients go beyond the reach of the federal Clean Water Act," said AFBF President Bob Stallman. He also noted that the new rules are more stringent for poultry and hog operations than for other livestock farms. That, according to Stallman, is "inequitable."

Copyright Southern Progress Corporation Feb 2003

Publication date: 2003-02-01


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