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EPA official denies that ag is being targeted

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to clamp down on small- to medium-sized cattle feeding operations for violations of the Clean Water Act.  The agency’s latest move involved eight northwest Iowa feedlots that have been ordered to apply for federal regulatory permits and cease discharges into streams. 

We asked Region 7 EPA administrator if the agency is concerned about the financial burden its actions might place on smaller producers.

“Every operation is different—every operator has a different set of factors that he’s working with—topography, the way he feeds,” Brooks says, “so in some cases, the changes may be ones that you can make without a huge financial investment. In fact, in most cases, I think it’s not a huge financial investment.”

And Brooks once again denied charges that this EPA is targeting agriculture, and specifically the livestock industry.

“I’d say instead of targeting agriculture, we’re doing a better job of reminding producers of the responsibilities they owe—I mean, not just to the EPA, but to their neighbors, and to the folks who live in their state,” says Brooks. “EPA wants a strong, vibrant, innovative farm sector.”

Brook’s Region 7 includes Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.

AUDIO: Karl Brooks (7:30 MP3)

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