Omnibus Package a Silver Bullet for Agriculture Industry's Many Problems - Fixing CERCLA, ELD, 199Wed, 28 Mar 2018 10:26:37 CDT
The cattle industry is cheering the Omnibus legislation signed into law last week. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s DC office says it is especially gratifying to see several fixes included in the bill that address issues that directly touch the beef industry, as well as the broader ag community. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up recently with Colin Woodall, NCBA’s lead lobbyist, for his perspective on the impact of this package to cattle producers.
“It is a good bill for us in the cattle business. I think the one we can point to as the biggest win is our effort to get livestock exempted from EPA’s Superfund air reporting requirements,” Woodall said, explaining how NCBA has worked for more than a year now to secure extensions and delays on those requirements for producers. “We were successful in getting some extensions, but we were really hoping for a permanent solution and that was included in this Omnibus.”
Woodall says this is one of the few times the EPA has actually been on agriculture’s side, and commended Administrator Scott Pruitt saying he understands the cattle business and was more than willing to assist with this issue. Woodall explained that Pruitt’s hands were tied, though, realizing this was a judicial matter and guided NCBA to seek leverage through Congress which ultimately worked. In addition, yet another extension on the ELD mandate, which once in effect will require livestock haulers to transition from paper logging to installing an electronic logging device in their rigs, was included in the Omnibus bill. This provision pushes the mandate for haulers to the end of September of this year. Two previous extensions had already been granted prior to this.
“That allows us more time to find a permanent solution,” Woodall said. “We need to be able to drive as long as we need to, to get these cattle to their next destination. The last thing the Department of Transportation or Congress want to be responsible for is a load of dead cattle sitting on the side of the road. Getting this extension shows that Congress understands that and we need to fix it.”
Listen to Woodall and Hays speak more about these issues and others, including the Section 199A fix, that were addressed in the recently passed Omnibus bill, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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