Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson has lent his support to a measure to prevent livestock operations from becoming Superfund sites. H.R. 2997, introduced by Representative Billy Long (R-MO), would ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not impose regulations intended to clean up hazardous waste sites to livestock operations. Simpson chairs the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the EPA and is an original cosponsor of H.R. 2997.
"In light of EPA's persistence in imposing its job-killing and unnecessary regulatory agenda on the American people, I believe it is important to clarify Congress's intent on this issue," Simpson said. "The Superfund law was never intended to regulate manure and other animal emissions as a toxic or hazardous substance. It defies common sense to presume that dairy and other producers who use manure as fertilizer should be regulated the same way as a chemical plant or mining operation."
The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as the Superfund Law) was passed by Congress in 1980 to address the legacy of hazardous waste sites that pose a threat to the environment or human health. The law makes those involved in creating the Superfund site liable for cleaning it up. H.R. 2997 ensures that manure and other animal emissions cannot be regulated under CERCLA, preventing farmers from becoming liable for the cleanup of entire watersheds.
"It would be inappropriate, to say the least, to regulate manure under laws Congress intended for large-scale industrial waste," said Simpson. "Idaho's agriculture industry needs certainty in order to succeed, and this clarification ensures that producers can plan for the future without the risk of crushing and unreasonable liability hanging over their heads."