[permaculture] A HEAD'S UP! ::::: 33 GROUPS: FAMILY FARMS, RURAL COMMUNITIES THREATENED BY CRAIG AMENDMENT UNLEASHING FACTORY FARM POLLUTION

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Thu Sep 23 21:53:34 EDT 2004


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SANET-MG] 33 GROUPS:  FAMILY FARMS, RURAL COMMUNITIES THREATENED BY CRAIG AMENDMENT UNLEASHING FACTORY FARM POLLUTION
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 17:54:28 -0400
From: Evon Kochey <sydney151 at EARTHLINK.NET>
Reply-To: Evon Kochey <sydney151 at earthlink.net>
To: SANET-MG at LISTS.IFAS.UFL.EDU

http://www.ems.org/nws/2004/09/22/news_airwater_po

Environmental Integrity Project
Posted by: Campaign to Protect America's Lands - archive
Posted on: Sep 22, 2004 @ 10:58 am[printer-friendly]

33 GROUPS:  FAMILY FARMS, RURAL COMMUNITIES THREATENED BY
CRAIG AMENDMENT UNLEASHING FACTORY FARM POLLUTION

WASHINGTON, D.C.///September 21, 2004///The air and drinking water,
lakes and streams in and near family farms and rural communities
across the United States would be jeopardized by a Senate amendment
that would allow the undisclosed release of hazardous chemicals and
other pollution from factory farm operations, according to the
Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and 32 leading farm,
environmental and community groups.

The controversial amendment in question is expected to be offered
today by Idaho Sen. Larry Craig in a Senate committee markup of the
appropriations bill.   A joint letter to U.S. Senators on the topic
has been sent by a coalition of national and local organizations
across the country, including EIP.

The groups are opposing the behind-the-scenes bid to exempt
agricultural operations from existing laws that require reporting of
releases of toxic chemicals.  The amendment would change the
definition of “release” in the Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund) and the definition
of “hazardous chemical” in the Emergency Planning and Community Right
to Know Act (EPCRA).

According to the letter:  “Large livestock operations, confining
thousands and even hundreds of thousands of animals, routinely emit
large quantities of hazardous chemicals such as ammonia and hydrogen
sulfide into the environment and nearby communities.  Chemical
releases from these operations are anything but diffuse and low-level.
Because of the concentration of large numbers of animals and their
waste, chemical releases are also concentrated.”

Data show that the livestock sector is the largest ammonia polluter
nationwide, producing nearly three-quarters of all ammonia emissions.

The joint letter points to mounting evidence “correlating Concentrated
Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) air emissions with detrimental public
health and environmental impacts.”   According to the letter:
“Peer-reviewed studies show air emissions from a 6,000-head hog
operation in North Carolina caused increased headaches, sore throats,
excessive coughing, diarrhea, burning eyes, and reduced quality of
life for nearby residents. Another study shows increased eye and upper
respiratory symptoms in residents within two miles of a large hog
operation in Iowa.”

The letter continues:  “Stories abound of the horrific impacts from
these types of facilities; witness the recent, nuisance judgments
against CAFOs rendered by courts in Iowa against Iowa Select and in
Ohio against Buckeye Egg.  These verdicts helped bring relief to
communities plagued by noxious emissions from facilities that had
operated outside the law for far too long.  Serious questions have
also been raised in the San Joaquin Valley – an area heavily polluted
by agricultural operations – with respect to CAFOs' contribution to
total air pollution and the corresponding health effects associated
with smog and particulate matter pollution.  Seven people have died in
Minnesota since 1992 from exposure to toxic hydrogen sulfide fumes
released during the pumping of animal waste from pits.  Two California
dairy workers died this year from hydrogen sulfide exposure.”

EIP Senior Counsel Michele Merkel said:  “In addition to our concerns
about public health, we find it completely inappropriate to use
appropriations bills to make substantive amendments to longstanding
environmental protection laws.  The groups are asking the Senate to
keep this bill (and all other appropriations bills) free of
anti-environmental riders.”

The full text of the joint letter is available online at
http://www.environmentalintegrity.org. The full list of signers
consists of the following: American Grassfed Association, American
Rivers, Campaign for Family Farms, Center for International
Environmental Law, Center for Rural Affairs, Center on Poverty, Race
and the Environment, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Community Alliance
With Family Farmers, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice,
Environmental Defense, Environmental Integrity Project, Friends of the
Earth, Humane Society of the United States, Idaho Conservation League,
Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Iowa Citizens for Community
Improvement, Izaak Walton League of America, Land Stewardship Project,
League of Conservation Voters, Midwest Environmental Advocates,
National Audubon Society, National Campaign for Sustainable
Agriculture, National Catholic Rural Life Conference, National
Environmental Trust, Natural Resources Defense Council, Northwest
Environmental Defense Center, Pesticide Action Network, Sierra Club,
U.S. PIRG, Union of Concerned Scientists, Waterkeeper Alliance, and
Western Sustainable Agriculture Working Group.

CONTACT:   Ailis Aaron, The Hastings Group, (703) 276-3265 or
aaaron at hastingsgroup.com.




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