The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) today applauded the introduction of the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act (FARM Act), S. 2421, which would clarify that farmers and ranchers are not required to report livestock manure data under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a law intended to regulate toxic Superfund sites.
Dr. Barbara P. Glenn, NASDA CEO, underscored the importance of this timely action given the ongoing uncertainty among producers caused by conflicting court decisions.
“It was never the intent of Congress to regulate animal agriculture operations under the Superfund law. We applaud this commonsense, bipartisan effort by these Senators to restore certainty for farmers under CERCLA. The farms and ranches producing our food and fiber should not be regulated as toxic Superfund sites. We urge the Senate to swiftly act on this bill before new reporting requirements begin on May 1.”
An estimated 200,000 farms and ranchers would have to report to the Coast Guard and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the current rule, which does not advance environmental protection and serves no useful purpose to the Coast Guard.
Initial cosponsors of the FARM Act are U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN); and John Barrasso (R-WY), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Jodi Ernst (R-IA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), John Hoeven (R-ND), James Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.