How Do You Miss Putting Entire Farms on the Map?
In a story by Tammy Webber from the Associated Press this week, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency of the United States) dropped the ball as they failed to pass adequate regulation against some livestock farms across the U.S. And why, you might ask? Simple. Because they didn’t know the farms were there in the first place, in order to regulate them.
So why is this such a big deal, anyway. So there are some farms that have gone undetected. Well — when you consider the fact that some of the livestock farms that the EPA failed to notice are large enough that the waste produced by the cattle there is equal to or greater than the waste we produce in a small American city — then you get the picture.
So how could the U.S. EPA not have noticed that these farms existed?
More on the Environmental Protection Agency Error This Week
But things get worse, or at least even more ridiculous, than that. It seems that it was only 4 years ago that the Government Accountability Office raised concerns over the EPA’s ability to regulate and protect our country’s waterways. And how long as the Environmental Protection Agency been charged with that duty? Since the passing of the Clean Water Act just 40 years ago, the duty has fallen under the control of the EPA, who may or may not have been committing errors of this nature the entire time, one has to consider.
And so after 40 years of being stewards of the nation’s waterways, the EPA has failed to account for all of the waste-producing cattle farms across the land. And because they don’t know all of the cattle farms that exist, this implies that they also do not know exactly how much manure is generated by these farms, and how carefully or properly the manure is being handled at these locations.
Signaling a large blindspot in a critical area, Congress attempted to provide a quick solution: they asked the EPA to adopt a new rule that would “require livestock operators to provide the agency with information.” Makes perfect sense. Hold the farms accountable for putting themselves on the map and turning over information on their waste production and handling methods. And what did the EPA do? Rejected the new rule, instead choosing “to try to cobble it together from other state, local and federal sources — a decision they said puts the EPA right back where it started,” according to the article, which can be read in its entirety here.
[Photo Via: ranchesinuruguay.com]