Livestock groups are applauding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to withdraw its proposed livestock reporting rule.
The proposed rule would have required all livestock operations meeting the regulatory definition of a CAFO to report a long list of information about their operations to EPA, including latitude and longitude or street address of the production area, and the number and types of animals confined.
National Pork Producers Council president R.C. Hunt says the proposed rule was the result of what he calls “a sweetheart settlement” between EPA and environmentalists. He says it was an effort to undermine court decisions that said producers who don’t discharge into waterways don’t need a Clean Water Act permit.
The president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, J.D. Alexander, says his group’s primary concern was that the proposed rule could put the nation’s food system at risk of increased terrorist attacks. EPA had stated that it would place the information on the agency’s website in an easily searchable database. NCBA feared extremists could access the information with the intent to do harm to cattle operations or the nation’s food system.
Alexander says non-compliance with the proposed rule would have been a violation of the Clean Water Act, which would have resulted in fines of up to 37,500 dollars per day.