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Rep. Miller introduces a feedlot bill
For Immediate Release
February 12, 1998
Contact: Robbin Marks, NRDC 202-289-2393
Lisa Magnino, NRDC 202-289-2405
Bianca DeLille, CWN 202-333-1143
Ken Midkiff, Sierra Club MO 573-815-9250
Bill Craven, Sierra Club CA 916-557-1100
Dan Whittle, EDF NC (919) 881-2601
CLEAN WATER NETWORK PRAISES MILLER BILL TO SET
CLEAN WATER STANDARDS FOR FACTORY LIVESTOCK OPERATIONS
February 12, 1998 - (Washington, DC) - The Clean Water Network
national coalition of more than 1,000 organizations including
family farm and religious organizations, today praised Representative
Miller (D-CA) for introducing legislation that would establish national
environmental standards for all industrial-sized livestock operations.
legislation would help prevent pollution and ensure that hog, poultry,
and other large-sized animal feedlot operations are held accountable for
water pollution they cause.
Many states across the nation have suffered from water pollution caused
livestock operations. For example, the outbreak of pfiesteria piscicida
summer in the Chesapeake Bay caused open sores on fish and numerous
problems in humans including memory loss. According to data gathered by
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), just during the summer of 1995
more than 38 million gallons of animal waste spilled from factory farm
in North Carolina, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri, causing massive fish
One hundred and four deaths from cryptosporidium in Milwaukee,
been linked to parasites from animal waste.
"Large feedlots have caused devastating water pollution and this bill
will go a
long way towards solving the problem," explained Robbin Marks, a senior
analyst at NRDC. "EPA has generally failed to use its authority to
factory farms. This bill clarifies EPA's existing authority and expands
it. In many ways, this bill should be used as a yardstick against which
plan for feedlots, now under development, should be judged."
The legislation introduced today would require that all large-sized
feedlot operations obtain individual Clean Water Act permits, that those
be based on stricter technology standards, and that those permits
mandate standards for land application of waste to prevent polluted
"California has been ravaged by water pollution from dairy factory
explained Bill Craven, director of the California Chapter of the Sierra
"These corporate farms have never been held accountable for the
cause. We need this legislation to provide states with a national
below which no state should fall."
"This bill will begin to hold corporate producers to the same level of
stewardship and responsibility as the family farmer already aspires to,"
Edith Galloway, a livestock and grain family farmer from Hancock County,
"We care about our neighbors and our land."
The bill phases out the use of open air lagoons by concentrated animal
operations within ten years and ensures that within three to five years
existing and new lagoons and other manure storage systems will be lined
sited properly to avoid risks to surface and groundwater. Moreover, the
requires that large confined animal feeding operations move towards
systems of manure storage.
"We have to get rid of the larger-than-football-field-sized cesspools
factory hog farms that are polluting our rivers and streams," explained
Allison, a livestock farmer and executive director of the Missouri Rural
Center, a family farm organization. "This bill begins that process."
"The bill recognizes that the widespread use of open-air lagoons and
to dispose of animal waste is outdated and ineffective in protecting our
streams and aquifers. Had this bill been enacted six years ago, North
would not be in the mess it's in." stated Dan Whittle, attorney for the
Carolina Environmental Defense Fund in Raleigh.
The bill clarifies that large-scale poultry operations must obtain Clean
Act permits. In addition, the bill stipulates that both the owners and
operators are jointly liable for any pollution violations.
"The corporate poultry operations in Kentucky have never taken
for the water pollution they've caused in our waterways," explained Lisa
Webster, a soybean, cattle and tobacco family farmer from Webster
Kentucky. "This bill makes it clear that the corporations have to stop
Miller's bill does not limit the authority of EPA and states that issue
Water Act permits to set stricter standards, including imposing
new and expanding industrial-sized animal feedlots operations.
"This piece of legislation is one key piece of the puzzle of how to
factory farms so they do not harm the environment," stated Ken Midkiff,
of the Ozark Chapter of the Sierra Club in Missouri. "Strong state and
controls, and curbs on air pollution are also needed."
# # #
Members of the press: a summary of Representative Miller's bill is
contacting Lisa Magnino, NRDC, at 202/289-2405.
The Clean Water Network, established in 1992, is comprised of more than
local, state, regional and national groups in all 50 states working to
strengthen federal clean water policies so that our nation's waters will
fishable and swimmable. Member groups include a variety of
representing environmentalists, commercial fishermen, recreational
surfers, boaters, family farmers, faith communities, environmental
advocates, labor unions, civic associations and recreational
Clean Water Network's feedlot workgroup is made up of 100 organizations
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