Aaron Popelka – HSUS vs EPA

(Aaron) I’m Aaron Popelka, Vice President of Legal and Governmental Affairs for the Kansas Livestock Association. And one of the things that has recently come up in the area of animal agriculture is a number of activist groups including environmental community,but one of the headline plaintiffs, potential plaintiffs is the Humane Society of the United States. And what they’ve done is they had filed petitions with EPA to list concentrated animal feeding or large livestock facilities as stationary sources under the Clean Air Act. And in a second petition, petitioned to have ammonia listed as a criteria pollutant under the Clean Air Act. What that would do essentially is force animal agriculture operations to now adopt the best available technology if there’s any emissions of air pollutants on the stationary source suit and for the ammonia if you discharge over 100 tons of ammonia you’d now have to adopt permits and best management practices. I think the unique thing about this is that particularly with HSUS headlining the lawsuits is this really isn’t about health or the environment, this is solely about HSUS and their anti-animal agriculture push. The real goal here is to try and force animal operations to break apart. Unfortunately, as we look at this, one of the things that it would probably do is actually force out the smaller producers as margins tighten to try and comply with some of these, control technology and force operations to get larger which ironically is the opposite in fact as HSUS is trying to force. Right now, where it’s at, essentially they’ve filed an intent to sue EPA if they don’t act on the petitions and so they’ve given a deadline of so many days and if they don’t hear back then they’re gonna file these suits. So we don’t really know exactly in dollars and cents the impact here because really there’s… EPA is even still in the middle of trying to figure out how to measure ammonia and some of these other potential pollutants coming off KFOS because it’s a really hard thing to measure. You don’t have a smokestack from a factory that you can really monitor. So one, we don’t even know how many animal operations would exceed a hundred tons per year. And then that gets to the next problem of what kind of technology is out there that you could really employ to do this. When you look at feed yards especially, because it’s over a large surface area, very diffuse, any kind of technology would be very, very costly. And I think one of the things that we’re concerned about at this point is EPA has been known to engage in what’s called sue and settle, where they essentially almost invite some of these environmental groups to sue them. Then after a few weeks settle on something that the industry itself can never really rely on. Essentially kind of moves environmental agenda forward without any meaningful input from industry. I know for sure KLA will be monitoring with our national affiliate, National Cattle and Feed Association very closely going forward.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.