AR-News: Greens raise stink over factory farms

jim robertson wolfcrest at
Fri Sep 26 02:11:15 EDT 2003

Greens raise stink over factory farms
Thursday, September 25, 2003 Posted: 10:00 AM EDT (1400 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The Environmental Protection Agency unwisely would 
exempt livestock "factory farms" from air pollution laws under a proposal to 
use them in a study of emissions from large-scale hog, cattle and chicken 
farms, environmental groups said.

Livestock producers would pay $2,500 per farm to fund the air monitoring 
program and would be free of the threat of EPA lawsuits under the clean air 
or Superfund laws while the study was under way, according to a draft leaked 
to the groups.

An EPA spokeswoman said the 11-page document was "nothing more than a draft 
... of a potential voluntary agreement" being circulated among EPA offices 
for comment.

"It's a way to get solid information on an industry that has not been 
regulated," said Lisa Harrison of EPA on Wednesday.

About 28 farms representing the major types of livestock nationwide would be 

Federal regulators have been urged to write air pollution rules for 
so-called concentrated animal feeding operations, known as CAFOs. Neighbors 
often complain of offensive odors from them.

The Bush administration issued rules on December 16 that oblige CAFOs to 
control manure run-off into streams and groundwater. About 15,500 farms will 
be required to obtain water pollution permits under that plan.

According to the draft, CAFOs in the air study would select a contractor to 
gather emissions data and submit it to EPA, where it would become public 
information. The livestock farms would pay a $500 fine to EPA as well.

Harrison said the draft would not preclude EPA from pursuing pending 
enforcement actions against farms.

"This is not well-crafted. They give away too much to the industry," said 
Joe Rudek of Environmental Defense on Wednesday.

Rudek and other environmentalists said the monitoring program could allow 
CAFOs "to pollute indefinitely without fear of prosecution." CAFOs would 
choose the sites to be monitored and the firm to gather the data.

The Sierra Club said EPA wanted to ratify "a back-room deal with the 
livestock and poultry industries."

It was joined by two other groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council and 
the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, in a lawsuit filed on 
Wednesday to force the Bush administration to disclose information about 
closed-door meetings with the livestock industry.

Copyright 2003 Reuters.


Each time you eat animals, you casue suffering.  Since we have the choice 
between an action that causes suffering (eating an animal) and an action 
that casuses no suffering (not eating an animal), doesn't it make sense to 
choose only actions that don't cause suffering?

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