Toxic Animal Feedlot Emissions Need To Be Reported -- Tell the EPA

There's big money lobbying the government on behalf of big meat operations. Time to speak up!

If you're short on time, save the articles referenced below, and cut and paste the following email asap (the deadline is Thursday, March 27, 2008) to express your disapproval of the EPA's plan to loosen already-lax reporting requirements for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs - those giant farms packed with animals raised for our dinner tables).

You may remember the story about the entire family killed in a manure pit in 1989 after succumbing to methane fumes? Well, the toxic gases escaping from giant animal feedlots are contributing to global warming and pollution, as well as endangering farm workers.

Tell the EPA you want clear reporting of hazardous air emissions by CAFOs by emailing superfund.docket@epa.gov - make sure that you reference the docket ID in both your email subject line *and* the body of your email.

The talking points below are from the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.


re: EPA Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2007-0469

1. CAFOs emit significant amount of hazardous air emissions, including ammonia, methane and other volatile organic compounds. These emissions can threaten the health of rural residents and neighboring communities. EPA does not have the authority to deny rural residents and communities the protections of CERCLA and the Community-Right-to Know law.

2. CAFOs can take steps to reduce and control ammonia and other hazardous air emissions from animal waste. The CERCLA-EPCRA reporting requirements provide an incentive for CAFOs to improve their management of hazardous substances and include the cost of that control in their business plans. EPA should not ignore its legal duty to protect the public from hazardous air emissions for the special benefit of CAFOs.

3. EPA is well aware of the dangers posed by other on-farm sources of hazardous air emissions. EPA does not propose to change the reporting requirements for releases of hazardous substances to the air from any other source other than animal waste at farms. For example, releases of ammonia from ammonia tanks most still be reported. Ammonia releases from animal waste pose the same hazard to public health and the environment as releases from ammonia tanks. There is no legal, scientific, or rational basis for EPA’s decision to favor the CAFO industry with this exemption.

For helpful action alerts and summaries of other agricultural issues, check out the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture.

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