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GRAND RAPIDS -- Having watched the oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico, dairy farmer Frank Konkel has a hard time seeing how spilled milk can be labeled the same kind of environmental hazard.
But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is classifying milk as oil because it contains a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil.
The Hesperia farmer and others would be required to develop and implement spill prevention plans for milk storage tanks.
Bill calls for EPA to focus on oil spills, not spilled milk
The Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) backs legislation introduced by U.S. Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.) that would direct the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to change its designation of milk as an environmental hazard.
The legislation is in response to EPA's Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Program, as initiated under the Clean Water Act, which considers milk the same as oil and directs dairy farmers to have an oil spill prevention plan. If they don't, farmers are subject to punitive damages.
In a news release about the bill's introduction, Miller says the EPA's criterion places undue, over-burdensome and costly regulatory requirements on dairy farmers.
"Milk is a natural resource and directing the EPA to proceed with exempting our dairy producers is a common sense solution," she says.
Miller adds: "We see on television every day the devastation being wrought in the Gulf of Mexico by the ongoing oil spill. It is simply ridiculous for the EPA to suggest that milk presents the same danger to our environment as oil. The federal government's focus on the Gulf oil spill has been brought into question and one has to wonder if ridiculous requirements like this are a reason why. The EPA has an important job and it should properly place its focus where it belongs — on spilled oil, not spilled milk."
EPA will hold-off on milk spill regulations
The EPA says it will hold-off on the deadline for farmers to comply with the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations. The rules are designed to prevent oil spills from getting into the waterways of the United States. The requirement is that storage facilities have a spill prevention plan certified by a professional engineer. The problem is milk contains butterfat and butterfat is classified as an oil so dairy farms with bulk milk storage would have to comply.
National Milk Producers Federation asked the EPA to exempt bulk milk storage from the rule. In a letter to NMPF dated June 9th, the EPA committed to finalizing the SPCC exemption for bulk milk storage “as expeditiously as possible …to have that process completed by early 2011.” In addition, EPA will be extending the compliance deadline for dairy producers until that time.
Originally posted by FortAnthem
reply to post by mtnshredder
I've heard horror stories about natural gas drilling and how the EPA pretty much looks the other way. Those government bureaucrats must be pretty well paid off by that industry.
I wonder why they are cracking down so hard on the milk industry lately? Between this and the FDA raids on raw milk farmers, something has got to be up.