U.S. Congressman Mike McIntyre announced today he is taking action on four key agriculture issues to help North Carolina farmers.
First, Congressman McIntyre has signed a letter to USDA in support of changes to the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) proposed rules that would harm the marketing of livestock and poultry. Three separate economic analysis have shown that the proposed GIPSA rule will eliminate thousands of jobs in the livestock and poultry industry. Congressman McIntyre believes that the pork and poultry industries, which are critical to the local economy, may be harmed by the legal uncertainty created by this rule.
Second, Congressman McIntyre has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act that would prevent the EPA from implementing costly and unnecessary controls on dust on farms.
Third, Congressman McIntyre has signed a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor to request an extension to the comment period for proposed changes that would affect the ability of farmers to hire youth to work in agriculture. The proposed rule challenges the conventional wisdom of what is a family farm. This extension would allow the time that is necessary to examine the consequences of the proposed rule and give family farmers the opportunity for their voices to be heard.
Fourth and finally, Congressman McIntyre has called on the EPA to extend the deadline for farmers to comply with the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule. This rule requires that farmers prepare spill plans to deal with spillage of petroleum or animal fat from storage tanks. The combination of catastrophic weather -- resulting in extremely low yields in many drought stricken areas of North Carolina -- and the vulnerability from an inability to comply by the deadline could jeopardize the survival of many farms teetering on the edge.
Congressman McIntyre is a senior member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee.