The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued new pollution control requirements for large livestock feedlots. The new regulations would allow farm operators to avoid having to get a permit if they agree to not let their farm animals defecate and put “harmful discharges” into nearby waterways.
The new EPA standard calls for a “zero discharge standard” which basically says farmers, on their own merit will develop elaborate and expensive plans to prevent the runoff of “excessive” environmentally damaging nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous to flow into lakes and streams.
Damaging nutrients like phosphorous and Nitrogen? The EPA has agreed to allow farmers to police themselves to not allow their animals to excrete in a normal fashion and have called for zero tolerance? Really?
Can you see the writing on the wall? Farmers regulating themselves with a zero tolerance police to keep manure out of local waterways? In other words, the EPA should have just gone straight to the stricter standard of just fining them for cattle defecation and runoff into nearby streams. Unless there is a quick miracle digestive device created soon, it want happen. I think we can all agree a cow is going to eat and a cow is going to defecate! Self regulation is essentially another type of “tax” on the farmer. Its a pretty sure sign you are going to pay it if your cow is normal. Self regulation only gives you the opportunity to fail so the EPA can step in and enforce the strict regulations.
Enforcing rediculous and stringent federal EPA regulations with stiff fines on a farmer is a sure fire way to ensure failure of that farmer and possibly loss of his or her livelihood and family treasure, their property.
Environmentalist have long complained that animal feedlots , the large operations where hogs and cattle are fattened for slaughter , pollute waterways because of their huge buildup of manure which is piled up and spread across the land.
My first gripe with this is why are we cow towing (joke intended) to environmentalist about an issue that is occuring on my private property and will likely affect my livelihood and way of making a living because they think that their drinking water may have to much nitrogen or phosphorous? The federal government, especially the EPA should have no say so on what I do on my property.
Environmentalist have also been concerned that these “lax “ rules of self governance through the “zero discharge” rule is letting the farmers get off easy! They think that is lax? Ever try to keep cow excrement from flowing down hill after a rain storm?
Eric Shaefer, a former EPA Enforcement Official says “This regulation allows these industrial meat farms to avoid the Clean Water Act all together by certifying that they have taken voluntary action to avoid discharges. Mr Shaefer, we all know what will happen when that EPA enforcer walks on to that piece of property to make sure you are self regulating. Exactly, they will find phosphorus and nitrogen downstream, gauranteed!
EPA officials estimated that the requirements will prevent the release into the streams , lakes and other waterways of 56 million pounds of phosphorous, 110 million pounds of nitrogen and 2 billion pounds of sediment!
I know farm animals are going to defecate, it is going to rain and that rich combination of nitrogen and phosphorus is going to flow downhill into a waterway! Its a given, it’s going to happen. This new regulation comes on the heels of cows milk, hay and dust being determined a pollutant.
You might as well get a credit line at the local bank and digging that proverbial hole. If you plan to do any farming under the over regulating eye of the EPA, you either pay the fines to play or give up the farm and your property rights. Sounds like we need to tell our elected officials how we feel! Call them and tell them to get the EPA of your backs and off your farms!
Source of information:
Directly from the EPA website: