The National Pork Producers Council in written testimony submitted yesterday urging lawmakers to give pending environmental policy changes related to concentrated-animal-feeding operations a chance to take effect before considering additional legislation.

NPPC submitted the comments to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which held a hearing on Sept. 6, related to the livestock and poultry industries’ effects on air and water quality and on public health. Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) convened the hearing over concerns about “significant environmental and health issues that stem from” concentrated-animal-feeding operations (CAFOs).

NPPC's testimony pointed out that the concerns are either being addressed or have been proved unfounded. With regard to water and air quality, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency is set to issue a new rule on discharges from CAFOs later this year, with a goal of zero discharges from livestock operations. Also the agency is conducting an emissions study of livestock operations to help set air standards for farms. The pork industry has been working closely with environmental regulators to on the nationwide study.

Chris Chinn, an NPPC member and pork producer from Missouri, testified that the livestock industry already is “highly regulated” and faces “some of the most stringent fines and enforcement actions.”

“The U.S. pork industry’s top goal is to meet worldwide consumer demand while protecting water, air and other environmental resources that are in its care or potentially affected by its operations,” says Randy Spronk, NPPC’s Environment Committee chairman, and a pork producer from Edgerton, Minn. “We are committed to protecting our environment.”

Source: National Pork Producers Council