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EPA USDA SEEKING COMMENTS TO REDUCE POLLUTION FROM FARMING

Release Date: 11/24/1998
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith (215) 814-5543 & Carol Hollingsworth, USDA (410) 757-0861 x 313

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service are seeking comments on the recently released draft Unified Joint Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations.

The two agencies will hold a  "listening session" from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 15 at the Historic Inns of Annapolis, located at 58 State Circle.  The session is being held to discuss the draft strategy and to give interested individuals a chance to provide feedback.  This is the final session of a series of 11 sessions held nationally.

The goal of the draft Unified National Strategy is to take actions to minimize threats to water quality and public health caused by animal feeding operations, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of livestock production in the United States.  The strategy is a part of the Clinton administration’s Clean Water Action Plan.

Those wishing to speak can register from 1:30 until 2 p.m. on the day of the session, or call EPA’s customer service hotline at 800-438-2474.  Presentations will be limited to 3-5 minutes, depending on the number of people wishing to speak.  Participants may also register to speak upon arrival at the meeting.  Requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis.

The strategy establishes a national expectation that all animal feeding operations develop and implement comprehensive nutrient management plans by the year 2008.  These plans include manure handling and storage, application of manure to the land, record keeping, feed management, and integration with other conservation measures.

W. Michael McCabe, EPA Regional Administrator said, "It is essential to find industry-based solutions to tackle the important pollution problems created by America’s growing livestock industry."

"This is a coordinated approach to improve the quality of our water while keeping the livestock industry strong," said NRCS East Region Conservationist Humberto Hernandez.  "The strategy doesn’t contain new regulations.  It recognizes how the voluntary and regulatory aspects of  USDA and EPA were set up to operate.  It’s important that we hear what farmers and producers think.  I hope that they will participate in the session and provide comments on the draft strategy."

Comments may also be mailed through January 19, 1999 to Denise C. Coleman, Program Analyst, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services, ATTN: AFO, P.O Box 2890, Washington, D.C. 20013-2890 or e-mailed to denise_c.coleman@usda.gov.


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