Legislation being introduced today to clarify the Superfund law as it applies to farms and ranches is critical to the long term sustainability of American agriculture, says the American Meat Institute (AMI). The bipartisan legislation would clarify that livestock manure, which many agricultural producers utilize in their traditional farming practices, is not classified as a hazardous waste under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), otherwise known commonly as “Superfund.”
The bi-partisan legislation would
specifically address lawsuits in a number of
states that attempt to put farms under the
toxic waste cleanup and liability provisions of
the 1980 Superfund law because of the livestock
manure they produce. “Through a gross
distortion of Superfund, special interests are
placing America’s farmers and ranchers in the
bulls eye by trying to lump their operations in
with the 1,300 toxic waste sites throughout the
country,” said J. Patrick Boyle, AMI’s
President and CEO.
The Superfund law was
created in 1980 and has been an important tool
to ensure that the country’s worst industrial
toxic waste sites and spills, such as Love
Canal and Times Beach were properly cleaned up.
“Treating farmers and ranchers like toxic
waste slum lords because their animals produce
manure is like fining every citizen in the U.S.
for exhaling carbon dioxide because it’s a
greenhouse gas,” added Boyle.
pointed out that when this law was written more
than 25 years ago, it was never intended to be
used to address the normal application of
animal manure as fertilizer. In fact, EPA’s
overview of CERCLA states that the law
”established prohibitions and requirements
concerning closed and abandoned hazardous waste
sites.” Farms are not inactive, and the ones
being targeted for extermination are certainly
neither closed nor abandoned.
applaud this effort by Congress to clarify this
important law and prevent it from being
hijacked and used as a tool to put hardworking
farmers and ranchers out of business,” said
AMI Applauds Introduction of Bill to Clarify Superfund LawThursday, March 8, 2007
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