U.S. poultry industry groups recently submitted comments expressing concerns with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Reporting Rule, which would require owners and operators of concentrated animal feeding operations to submit certain demographic information to the EPA.
According to the poultry industry groups' comments, the requirements of the rule, proposed on October 21, 2011, include providing detailed location information and farm demographics for nearly every family farm engaged in the production of commercial poultry and egg products in the U.S. The EPA says providing such information will help determine if a violation of the Clean Water Act has occurred.
“We’re convinced the authority the EPA claims under Section 308 of the Clean Water Act to collect information from non-discharging [concentrated animal feeding operations] oversteps what Congress intended when the law was written,” said Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council. According to the groups, making this kind of information readily available to the public puts the safety of the food chain at risk for acts of bioterrorism and increases the concern for the safety and privacy of family farmers who often live at the same location.
“We are pleased the EPA recognizes the benefit of developing programs that can assist poultry and egg producers with further tools to extend their stewardship efforts," said National Turkey Federation president Joel Brandenberger. "We urge the EPA to follow this course rather than initiate an information collection exercise that will do nothing to enhance water quality.”