U.S. Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo) has introduced a bill called the Superfund Common Sense Act (H.R. 2997) that would exempt livestock operations from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The bill would also exempt livestock operations from Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) reporting requirements.
Long testified on June 27 before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.
"The EPA continues to illustrate its lack of common sense as it hurries to enact more overzealous regulation that ends up crippling job creators in Southwest Missouri and across our country," Long said. "My legislation would stop the EPA from classifying livestock waste as a hazardous substance."
Long says in a statement on his website that it does not make any sense "to lump tens of thousands of farms and livestock producers under the same severe liability provisions that apply to the nearly 1,300 federal Superfund toxic waste sites.
"CERCLA should be used to deal with real toxic waste such as we faced at Times Beach in Missouri and Love Canal in New York, not livestock waste," he says.
Such EPA regulations as are found under CERCLA and EPCRA are disquieting to livestock producers. Long notes organic producers are increasing in numbers and they have to rely on organic fertilizers like manure. Enforcement of the Superfund Law could wield severe liabilities against them, so, Long says in the posting "a farmer who applies manure to their field could be held liable for millions of dollars in damages."
Farmers' uncertainty comes from real, potential and proposed EPA rules. "Our nation's livestock producers and our agricultural industry as a whole cannot afford to comply with unnecessary regulations," Long's statement says. The CERCLA law was never meant to regulate livestock manure as a hazardous substance.
Long's bill clarifies reporting requirements under CERCLA and EPCRA.
To learn more visit Rep. Long's website at http://long.house.gov/.