NPPC applauds action on EPA regulations

09-03-2011 | |

The National Pork Producers Council applauded Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., for saying she will work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency to address livestock producers’ concerns over environmental regulations.

In a speech last week, Stabenow, the new chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said she’s establishing a working group with the two agencies to find solutions to concerns of growers and ranchers. “We need to sit down with the USDA and the EPA,” she said. “I know that it’s possible to work out common-sense solutions when you have everyone at the table.”
“In the view of many producers,” said NPPC President Sam Carney, a pork producer from Adair, Iowa, “EPA under the Obama administration has shown a preference for regulations that we know harm agriculture but provide little environmental benefit. Sen. Stabenow has shown she’s not only aware of the problem but trying to do something about it.”
Carney added that NPPC will do whatever it can to work with Stabenow to address producers’ concerns. “Nobody cares more about the environment than those whose livelihoods depend on it,” he said. “Some of EPA’s recent actions do not meet the common-sense standard that Sen. Stabenow spoke of, and we are ready to work with her, and USDA and EPA for that matter, to get these efforts back on the common-sense track.”
In her comments, Stabenow cited one example of a possible regulatory action dealing with more stringent control of farm dust. “We might need to remind [EPA] that country roads can sometimes be a little dusty, and there’s not much we can do to change that,” she said.
NPPC said pork producers have taken extensive steps over the past 15 years to better manage their animals’ manure for optimum use in crop production and minimize the loss of nutrients into rivers and streams. The organization worked with EPA on a 2008 Clean Water Act regulation that set a zero-discharge standard for pork operations and more recently participated in a two-year EPA study of air emissions from farms. Data from the study will be used to develop science-based emissions standards for agriculture.