South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds in Ranchers' Corner Working Hard to Secure CERCLA ExemptionMon, 12 Mar 2018 11:43:38 CDT
This past week, South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, subcommittee chair for the Environmental & Public Works committee, held a hearing to discuss CERCLA also known as the Superfund laws that are now requiring cattle producers with herds large enough to produce a certain level of methane emissions from manure, to report their operations to the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Coast Guard. Sen. Rounds is working with his colleagues to resolve this unnecessary action and exempt farmers and ranchers affected by this rule before it can be enforced by the federal courts responding to motion filed by extremist environmental groups pressing for the requirement to stay in effect.
“This affects over 200,000 farms and ranches in the United States. There’s no way the Coast Guard is in a position to respond to manure releases from 200,000 farms,” Sen. Rounds said. “So, what we’ve tried to do is share the reason why those rules have been stopped from being in effect for years. We’ve got about a month left yet, in which we’ve got to do something before the court would try to make the EPA enforce this.”
Essentially, the EPA has in a rare case taken up with agriculture in understanding that CERCLA was never meant to be applicable to beef producers. Therefore, the EPA has never enforced this portion of the rule. Rounds says he and his supporters are working to make what has always been done, legal statute. With this hearing, he says the proper process is being taken to make sure this common-sense measure is approved.
“The challenge is to get enough people on board to get it attached to a piece of legislation that could move forward in a fairly quick fashion,” he said. “I think we’re moving in the right direction and will be looking at every avenue to accomplish this.”
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