Opinion: EPA is wrong to prejudge livestock farm


Buckeye Farm News

Note: In response to comments made in The Columbus Dispatch about how livestock farms should be regulated, OFBF sent the following letter, which the newspaper published:

In an April 10th Dispatch article regarding a proposed livestock farm in Union County, an Ohio EPA official claimed that pollution from the farm is “inevitable.” Applying this logic to everyday life, we should all pay for a speeding ticket when we receive our driver’s license because it’s “inevitable” that we’ll exceed the posted limit.

Modern livestock farms are constructed and operated under extremely rigorous standards approved by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio EPA. The requirements on these farms exceed the rules applied to most cities and businesses. Advanced technology is utilized to protect against natural disasters or other events that might cause discharges.

Ohio EPA’s assessment of pollution in the Union County area is based on 10-year old data and does not reflect significant improvements made by local farmers. And while Ohio Farm Bureau is supportive of the proper regulation of livestock farms, in this particular case, EPA is exceeding its legal authority with their proposed regulations.

Ohio EPA should stick to objective science rather than subjective guesswork. Preemptive punishment is not only bad public policy, it is just plain absurd.

– Christopher Henney, OFBF Director of Legislative Relations


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