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Agricultural News

NCBA Environmental Guru Scott Yager Exposes the Courts Fallacy of Including Ag Under Superfund

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:25:52 CST

NCBA Environmental Guru Scott Yager Exposes the Courts Fallacy of Including Ag Under Superfund

According to Scott Yager, chief environmental counsel for National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the US court systems have imposed a regulation on farms and ranches, bringing them under what is known as the Superfund, or CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) and EPCRA (Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act). This statute, intended to increase transparency now requires producers to report manure emissions. Yager says this action was pushed and encouraged by environmental activist groups and now NCBA is attempting to block this effort. He adds that many government agencies are even backing NCBA’s argument.

“We’re now having agricultural producers face liability for having to report manure emissions under the statute,” Yager said. “The Coast Guard even came out in a public declaration and said having all these agricultural producers report to them is actually hurtful to their efforts to protect the public from actual emergencies - like an overturned tanker filled with chemicals or a plant explosion. That’s the stuff CERCLA is supposed to provide emergency response for, not farmers.”

Yager adds that even local emergency responders, police and firefighters, have taken NCBA’s side. So, now that the courts have made their decision, it is unlikely they will back up on it, although they have at least delayed implementation until later next year in 2018. Originally, it was supposed to go into effect today, December 18, 2017. Yager says with this being the case it will likely take an act of Congress to reverse the decision. He says Congressman Billy Long from Missouri has been a champion of this effort and has found a short-term solution, blocking this action through the appropriations process. But, long-term, it will take more than that to keep the inevitable from happening.

“It goes back to who’s driving this thing,” Yager said. “It’s these environmental advocacy groups that litigated this. Those are the only guys that want this stuff and actually it’s going to hurt our government’s ability to respond to true emergencies.

Listen to Yager and Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays discuss this problematic issue and what is being done to find long-term fixes to it, on today’s Beef Buzz.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Hear Yager and Hays discuss this problematic issue and what's being done to fix it on today's show.
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