US: EPA CAFO rule to have big impact
Calling it a
"tough but fair rule" that sets a high environmental standard for livestock
producers, the National Pork Producer Council today praised the US Environmental
Protection Agency for its new regulation for concentrated animal feeding
Tough but fair
regulation is a tough but fair rule and sets a standard that the US pork
industry has been and will continue living up to," said NPPC Environment
Committee Chairman Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minn. "Pork
producers are ready to comply with the new regulation."
The new rule is the product of more than 10 years of work to overhaul
the federal Clean Water Act rules applicable to livestock operations.
"Looking back to where we were in federal policy
in 1998, when this all started, through the 2001 proposed rule, the 2003 final
rule, a 2005 federal court decision and now this 2008 final rule, EPA is making
sweeping policy changes that affect all aspects of pork operations and water
quality," Spronk said.
Before the 2003
rulemaking, most CAFOs were in practice not liable under the Clean Water Act for
discharges from their operations, but now they are. And prior to 2003, the land
application of manure for crop production was not regulated under federal law;
now it is.
regulation requires National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
permits only for CAFOs that discharge or propose to do so. The new rule
effectively sets a "zero-discharge" standard for all livestock operations.
Non-permitted operations must use sound management practices to avoid
all discharges or face stiff penalties. Permit holders, likewise, must use
similar practices to meet the zero-discharge standard. Violations of the new
CAFO rule carry penalties of up to $32,500 a day.
"With or without a permit, swine operations that are not well managed
and have discharges are facing severe penalties," said Michael Formica, NPPC
environmental policy counsel. "These rules really raise the water quality bar
for us, but despite this challenge, producers are going to make this rule work."
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