U.S. EPA still controls CAFO regs

Editor:

I have been unable to attend all the meetings regarding the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s regulations for CAFOs, but did attend the last meeting two weeks ago.

The reader is led to believe from Kevin Elder’s progress report on the regulations (“Ohio nearly done with writing CAFO regs”, Sept. 27), that the department of agriculture is completely in charge of the regulatory process for CAFOs.

An attorney for the department reminded committee members the regulations had better be correct in order to be passed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Despite all the hype from the agriculture department, the U.S. EPA is still very much in charge of the waters of Ohio and the CAFOs impacting them.

In my opinion, from Ohio’s history and lack of enforcement for CAFOs, this will be a lengthy process, as the U.S. EPA will go over these regulations with a fine tooth comb, and that is as it should be. Without former Ohio EPA Director Schregardus running interference for them, the livestock industry will be on its own.

Perhaps the industry should have been more careful of whose properties were impacted with its problems. Perhaps Farm Bureau should have been concerned for all its members’ welfare and their lifetime investment in their properties.

Look at the research from Minnesota and Iowa that shows without taxpayers’ subsidization, the mega farms are not nearly as economically feasible as small- and medium-sized family farms.

New York should have taught us a valuable lesson. It is people who are most important, not short-term financial gain. The $19.7 million nuisance lawsuit awarded by the jury to the plaintiffs against Buckeye Egg should be a wake-up call to the industry.

Mary G. Gibson

Louisville, Ohio

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