A coalition is petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency to list emissions from CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations aka Factory Farms) under the Clean Air Act such that steps can be taken to begin regulating CAFOs.
The organizations include: Humane Society of the United States, Association of Irritated Residents, Center on Race Poverty and the Environment, Clean Air Task Force, Dairy Education Alliance, El Comité para el Bienestar de Earlimart, Environmental Integrity Project, Friends of the Earth and Waterkeeper Alliance.
The 69-page petition provides detailed scientific and legal information about the significant emissions of methane and nitrous oxide—two greenhouse gases—as well as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia from factory farms, and how all of these pollutants have been shown to have negative effects on human health and welfare, including adverse effects on climate and the environment in the United States.
“Unregulated air pollution from massive factory farms has a devastating impact on human health and the environment,” says Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president and chief counsel for Animal Protection Litigation and Research at The HSUS. “The EPA should hold these big agribusiness corporations accountable for the enormous harm they are inflicting on local communities, independent family farmers, and the environment.”
“Our lungs and the future of our planet are not animal factory subsidies,” said Tom Fratz, president of the Association of Irritated Residents and a resident of the San Joaquin Valley, an air basin in California with more than 2.6 million dairy cows. “President Obama promised us during the election that he would protect rural residents from this pollution and we expect EPA to keep that promise.”
“Hog lots and other factory farms aren’t just stinky, they’re also destabilizing our climate,” said Kate McMahon of Friends of the Earth. “The EPA has a legal obligation to protect the public by cracking down on this economic and public health threat – a threat that has yet to be addressed by climate legislation pending in Congress.”
“The people who live in the communities devastated by unregulated air pollution from animal factories deserve protection” said Charlie Tebbutt of the Western Environmental Law Center and co-chair of the Dairy Education Alliance. “Implementing this petition will get animal factories into the Clean Air Act process and give communities better opportunities to protect themselves.”
“Through global warming and deposition, the toxic emissions from industrial animal operations have profoundly impacted our water resources” said Hannah Connor of Waterkeeper Alliance. “By actively regulating the emissions from this industry, EPA will be taking a positive step towards protecting and enhancing not only the quality of our Nation’s air resources, but also the quality of our Nation’s water resources, and the public health and welfare of our communities.”