For the Week Ending January 15, 2010

January 15, 2010

Washington, D.C., January 15, 2010 

EPA TO STRENGTHEN CAFO REGULATIONS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Jan. 12 announced its intentions to strengthen existing regulations on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) as part of its effort to address water-quality concerns in the Chesapeake Bay. In May 2009 President Obama called on the federal government to take significant action to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including tightening regulation of manure runoff from farms. At the same time, EPA and environmental activists have reached a partial settlement of environmentalist issues in ongoing litigation of the CAFO rule filed by NPPC. The terms of that settlement have not yet been disclosed, but EPA has announced a two-year rulemaking for development of new municipal storm water permitting regulations and a three-year timeframe to develop new CAFO permitting rules. EPA has signaled its desire for those rules to include a dramatic expansion in the number of operations deemed to be CAFOs, picking up many smaller farms, as well as new restrictions on field application of manure and the ability to transfer manure for application on unpermitted property.

 

EMISSIONS REPORTING UNDER EPCRA STILL UP IN THE AIR

There has been some confusion about whether CAFO’s must report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a follow-up air emissions review under the Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-know Act reporting rule adopted by the Bush administration and required reports to have been filed Jan 20, 2009. It is NPPC’s belief that no follow-up reports are required under the rule. Specifically under EPCRA, EPA requires that large CAFOs (2,500 finishing swine) must notify state and local emergency response officials about ammonia and hydrogen sulfide emissions from their operations. The rule also seems to require an “annual review” and written report to be submitted within 30 days of the annual anniversary of the original release: on or about Feb. 20. However, that provision comes from a requirement under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (part of the Superfund law) and not EPCRA. In the original rulemaking, EPA clarified that there was no requirement for livestock producers to report emissions under CERCLA. While NPPC believes that producers are not required to report under EPRA, they should consult with their attorneys or legal counsel. NPPC has asked EPA to provide written clarification on this matter.

 

AVMA PASSES SWINE DISEASE SURVEILANCE RESOLUTION

In its first session of 2010, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) unanimously approved a resolution Jan. 9, supporting the development of comprehensive and integrated disease surveillance of the U.S. swine herd. The resolution, submitted by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, expresses AVMA’s support of the federal government designing a program to monitor for H1N1 and other influenza viruses, emerging and endemic diseases and foreign animal diseases. To view the resolution, click the following link: AVMA Swine Resolution.

 

FORMER NPPC PRESIDENT APPOINTED AS AMI VICE PRESIDENT OF LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

Former NPPC president Joy Philippi was appointed as vice president of legislative affairs for the American Meat Institute. Philippi, a fourth-generation hog farmer from Bruning, Neb., served as NPPC’s president from 2006-2007.

 

PHILBROOK TO RESIGN AS HEAD OF FASS


Burnham “Bud” Philbrook, USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, is resigning from that post effective Jan. 22, the agency announced today. USDA said it would move “swiftly” to name a replacement. FASS works to improve foreign market access for U.S. products, build new markets, improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace and provide food aid and technical assistance to foreign countries.
WHAT’S AHEAD
NPPC, NATIONAL PORK BOARD ANNUAL FORUM SET FOR MARCH 4-6

NPPC and the National Pork Board will hold their 2010 annual meeting – the National Pork Industry Forum – March 4-6 in Kansas City, Mo. For more information on the meeting, call (515) 278-8012. Media inquiries should be directed to Dave Warner at (202) 347-3600; for media registration, visit 2010 National Pork Forum.

 

FEDERAL NUTRITION PROGRAMS REVIEW TO BE HELD

The House Agriculture Committee’s Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry Subcommittee will hold a field hearing on “federal nutrition programs” on Jan. 25 at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, Calif.