EPA wants its millions returned


The Office of Inspector General at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recommended EPA seek to recover nearly $25.2 million of the $25.4 million given America’s Clean Water Foundation in three federal grants – $21.1 million of which went to Validus Services LLC, a for-profit subsidiary of the National Pork Producer Council.
There’s a small problem in getting the loot back, however.
Gone. July 14, 2006, the foundation’s attorney told EPA that the foundation had “dissolved” – vanished – along with its office, employees and board of directors.
America’s Clean Water Foundation and National Pork Producer Council have a short, profitable history; a history this space outlined twice in 2001 and 2002.
A Dec. 2001 column documented how the nonprofit National Pork Producer Council established a for-profit subsidiary – then called Environmental Management Solutions, LLC, now Validus – with the help of the nonprofit, Washington-based America’s Clean Water Foundation.
A Feb. 2002 column explained how National Pork Producer Council then became the “exclusive” license holder of producer checkoff-developed programs like the On-Farm Odor/Environmental Assistance Program, the Environmental Assurance Program and “all other [checkoff] environmental programs.”
Sweet deal. The deal was particularly sweet because National Pork Producer Council would make “no royalty payment” for the licenses to the checkoff for “years 0 to 5 inclusive” while allowing it to “grant sublicenses to ‘third parties, including a subsidiary Limited Liability Company

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Alan Guebert was raised on an 800-acre, 100-cow southern Illinois dairy farm. After graduation from the University of Illinois in 1980, he served as a writer and editor at Professional Farmers of America, Successful Farming magazine and Farm Journal magazine. His syndicated agricultural column, The Farm and Food File, began in June, 1993, and now appears weekly in more than 70 publications throughout the U.S. and Canada. He and spouse Catherine, a social worker, have two adult children. farmandfoodfile.com