Tell the EPA It's Time to Regulate Factory Farms

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Originally Posted: 3 Dec 2010

Tell the EPA It's Time to Regulate Factory Farms

FROM  Food and Water Watch


Tell the EPA that it is time to regulate factory farms.

Sign an online petition

And/Or make direct contact:

Lisa P. Jackson
Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
EPA general number (202) 272-0167


Factory farms are regulated under a patchwork system that leaves communities vulnerable to often indifferent and underfunded state environmental enforcement. Factory farm permitting rules released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2008 only require permits for facilities that declare their intention to release manure directly into waterways. Common manure management practices -- like cesspool lagoons and applying manure to cropland -- don't require any permit at all.

Communities across the country are suffering from water contaminated by manure lagoon failures, waste seeping into aquifers, runoff from oversprayed fields and air pollution from overcrowded livestock operations.


Dear Administrator Jackson:

I am writing to urge you to act swiftly to create a Clean Water Act permitting program from confined animal feeding operations.

The first step is to gather information from these facilities. I urge you to start this process immediately, and to collect information that includes not only basic information like location, but also any integrators that contract with the facility, details about what type and how many animals are raised there, what practices are used for manure management, and where manure is land applied. I also urge you to limit the use of confidential business information claims so that as much information as possible is made public.

But collecting information is not enough. Your agency must also move swiftly towards creating a Clean Water Act permit system for CAFOs. The delays in regulating the water pollution caused by CAFOs have gone on long enough. It is time for this industry to be covered by a permit system that is enforceable and protects communities and the environment.

I also urge you to end the exemption from air pollution rules for factory farm operations that joined the agency's study on emissions. This was a sweetheart deal for factory farms and it is time for this exemption to end. The EPA should establish and enforce pollution reporting requirements for factory farms and end the exemption from having to report large releases of hazardous chemicals into the air.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!