Today U.S. Congressman Billy Long fought for farmers, livestock producers, and agriculture businesses in southwest Missouri by submitting the Superfund Common-Sense Act, a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from adopting rules that would classify livestock manure a "hazardous substance." The rule, part of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA or Superfund Law) was created to deal with the "legacy of hazardous substances and wastes, which pose a serious threat to human health and the environment." Environmental extremists are proposing to use the 1980 law to target and regulate modern livestock operations.
"Common sense is not very common in Washington D.C.," said Long. "This is just another overreaching regulation by the EPA that is meant to cripple the job creators in southwest Missouri. By clarifying the Superfund Law, we can keep the EPA out of our farms and back in DC where they belong."
The Superfund Law was created in the wake of the Love Canal public health emergency to deal with hazardous substances. Unfortunately, environmentalists and activist judges have hijacked the law despite the fact that the law contains provisions specifically exempting "the normal applications of fertilizer." As organic producers are on the rise in southwest Missouri and across the United States, farmers are relying on organic fertilizers like manure more than ever for farming operations. Since enforcement of the Superfund Law uses a severe liability system, a farmer who applies manure to his field could be held liable for millions of dollars in damages.
"It doesn't make any sense to lump tens of thousands of farms and livestock producers under the same severe liability provisions that apply to the nearly 1,300 federal Superfund toxic waste sites," said Long. "The Superfund Common-Sense Act would provide common sense to our laws and regulatory certainty to our agriculture producers at a time when they need it most."
The Superfund Common-Sense Act already has bipartisan support, including the House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Colin Peterson.
When Congressman Long came to Washington he made agriculture one of his top priorities. Aside from his annual agriculture tour, Long champions agriculture issues in the House of Representatives by fighting against job-killing Environmental Protection Agency regulations and supporting free trade agreements for Missouri agriculture exports.