EPA overreaches on manure regulations, farm groups say

“The rule is the latest in a series of EPA regulations that have sparked opposition from farm or business groups and promise to give more election-year ammunition to Republican lawmakers who take issue with the agency’s assertive approach.”

The Watertown Daily Times reports,

National farm groups complained Thursday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has gone too far by asking for more information about basic operations on large-scale animal farms that might pollute water supplies. But New York farmers already share much of that information with state regulators.

The EPA closed out a public comment period on the proposed rules, which would require farmers to share more information about their businesses — a move the EPA agreed to in a settlement with the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups.

Large-scale farms, called concentrated animal-feeding operations, include large dairy farms, which pose an environmental challenge in dealing with manure. A dairy farm with more than 700 cows, for instance, is considered a large CAFO by the EPA, and a farm with as few as 200 cows is a medium CAFO. Those are common in Northern New York.

“EPA should pull this rule,” said Ashley Lyon, deputy environmental counsel for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, in a news release…

Read the entire Daily Times report.