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WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) has joined a legislative effort by Rep. Candice Miller in the U.S. House of Representatives to reverse a regulation of the Environmental Protection Agency on the dairy industry which treats milk as an environmental hazard because it contains animal fat, causing it to be classified as an oil.
“It’s a shock to me that the federal government can’t tell the difference between oil and milk. There should be commonsense rules to differentiate the two – and also to minimize the burden on dairy operations like those in Missouri which operate on shoestring budgets,” Emerson said. “This is exactly the kind of overstepping, sweeping, wrong-headed regulation that drives people in Southern Missouri crazy. The EPA is totally out of touch with the foundation of our economy.”
The legislation Emerson is supporting would prohibit enforcement of EPA regulations against milk, including requirements for dairy farmers to have a federally-acceptable spill prevention plan. The requirement wouldn’t stop at the dairy farm, extending to processors, handlers and distributors of milk.
“The regulation will most certainly add costs to the production, transportation and storage of milk, and those costs are going to be borne by two groups – producers and consumers – which can least afford them. We could very well lose family dairies in Missouri as a result of a regulation like this,” Emerson said.
Under the Bush Administration, an exemption for milk from the regulation was sought, but the Obama Administration has withdrawn the exemption, allowing the rulemaking process to affect milk. The standard applies to any facility with storage capacity over 1,320 gallons.