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E-M:/ Sierra Club reacts to Draft CAFO rules

Enviro-Mich message from "Anne M. Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@prodigy.net>

With Michigan a battle ground over adequate control over Concentrated 
Animal Feeding Operations, this release from Sierra Club regarding the 
EPA's expected draft rules will be of interest to many.  Anne Woiwode

>For Immediate Release
>December 13, 2000
>Contact:  Ed Hopkins - 202-675-7908
>                 Ken Midkiff - 573-815-9250
>WASHINGTON - The Sierra Club announced its reaction to the US Environmental
>Protection Agency's (US EPA's) draft rules limiting animal factory
>pollution expected to be released on Friday. While the Club acknowledged
>that the EPA has taken some positive steps, the Sierra Club stated that the
>draft rules do not adequately protect our waterways, health or rural
>communities from the millions of tons of animal waste that these factories
>"The EPA knows the problems and they know the solutions," stated Ken
>Midkiff, Sierra Club's Clean Water Campaign Coordinator.  "Unfortunately,
>they have chosen to take only a half-step forward towards protecting
>Americas' waterways from this pollution."
>Midkiff pointed out the following flaws with the draft regulations:
>·    The rules contain a gaping exemption that allows factories to spread
>an unlimited amount of waste on croplands during rainy weather. This will
>cause untreated animal waste to run-off directly into our waterways.
>·    There are no limits for contamination of our water from bacteria,
>virus, and disease-causing organisms.
>·    There are also no limits regarding antibiotics and heavy metals found
>in animal feeds.
>·    Untreated wastes will continue to be dumped into massive open-air
>liquid waste pits, then pumped onto adjacent fields.
>·    Operations will still be allowed to follow a permitting process that
>allows them to police themselves.
>"The Sierra Club has met with EPA on these proposed rules and have
>submitted exhaustive documentation of these factories' polluting
>practices," Midkiff said. "The EPA knows that that animal waste from these
>facilities is fouling miles of our nation's rivers and streams and choking
>out entire rural communities with odor emissions."
>Despite the flaws in the draft regulations, the Sierra Club noted that the
>EPA made some positive strides in curbing pollution from animal factories:
>·    The large corporations will share responsibility with their contract
>farmers for environmental damage caused at a contractor's location
>·    Lagoons, or large open-air liquid waste pits, must be large enough to
>withstand above-average rainfall without overflowing.
>·    Poultry operations that were previously exempted will be included in
>federal rules.
>·    The new rules attempt to control runoff of two of the most polluting
>elements found in animal waste -- phosphorous and nitrogen -- from the huge
>facilities.  Excess phosphorous and nitrogen spur plant growth that depletes
>the level of oxygen in the water and harms fish.
>"We are glad to see that The EPA put one foot forward," said Ed Hopkins,
>Director of the Sierra Club's Environmental Quality Program. "But they must
>do more to keep animal waste out of our water and stop animal factory
>The new EPA draft regulations will be open for public comment.
>                                     ###

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