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US Farmers Protest Propane Regulations

by 5m Editor
23 August 2007, at 10:58am

US - Poultry farmers are upset about proposed regulations from the Department of Homeland Security that would label propane gas a "chemical of interest" and require anybody stockpiling 7,500 pounds or more to register with the agency.

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An exploding propane tank would do little harm to the chicken houses, much less any other buildings on the farm, much less anybody else

Bill Satterfield

At that amount, up to 40,000 poultry farmers who use propane to heat chicken houses would have to register.

"It would affect almost all of us," said Jenny Rhodes, who has 80,000 roasters in Centreville, Maryland.

"I could think of a lot easier, better targets" for terrorists than chicken farms, said Richard Lobb, spokesman for the National Chicken Council, a Washington-based industry group. The US Poultry & Egg Association and the National Turkey Federation have joined the protests.

The government says the registration rule is important to protect the country and cite the terrorist plot in July in London where two Mercedes loaded with nails packed around canisters of propane and gasoline failed to explode.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said the agency is right to compile data on dangerous chemicals, even in rural areas, and said farmers would only need to spend "a couple hours" online to comply.

Bill Satterfield, who runs the Delaware-based Delmarva Poultry Industry trade group, said people are not at risk from propane tanks on chicken farms.

"It's ridiculous. Poultry farms are not near population centers. An exploding propane tank would do little harm to the chicken houses, much less any other buildings on the farm, much less anybody else," Satterfield said.

5m Editor