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Farmers Seek Exemption For Manure

by 5m Editor
11 September 2007, at 9:50am

WASHINGTON — Animal waste produced by thousands of chickens, pigs or other livestock kept on huge farms was at the center of discussion at a recent Senate hearing, with a Utah official asking Congress to protect farms against "unwarranted litigation."

Leonard Blackham, commissioner of Utah's Department of Agriculture and Food, was one of 11 witnesses during a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing last week on water quality and health issues related to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, known as CAFOs.

Pending legislation would exempt animal manure from the "Superfund" environmental cleanup law and other federal environmental laws, which has created an intense debate on Capitol Hill. Environmental groups want to see such waste qualify under the Superfund law, so that farmers would have to pay for the waste cleanup.

A Utah Agricultural Water Quality Team report from February says there are 2,927 animal feeding operations in Utah. Of these 2,062 have no pollution discharge, while 59 had more than 1,000 animals that could potentially pollute water.

Source: DesertNews

5m Editor