Public Records Sought on EPA, Beef Lobby Collusion to Weaken Water Protections

Press Release from: Biological Diversity.org

Livestock operations have polluted 35,000 miles of U.S. rivers and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. Each year American beef production creates 489 billion pounds of manure.

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity submitted a Freedom of Information Act request today seeking communications between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and beef-lobbying groups. The filing seeks information about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s participation in a promotional video for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in which he urges ranchers to flood the agency with comments in favor of repealing the Clean Water Rule.

“It’s bizarre and appalling that our nation’s chief environmental official starred in a beef-industry infomercial attacking protections for our water supplies,” said Jennifer Molidor, a Center senior food campaigner. “Americans deserve to know why Pruitt would support the private interests of this incredibly polluting industry.”

Livestock operations have polluted 35,000 miles of U.S. rivers and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. Each year American beef production creates 489 billion pounds of manure. Improperly stored manure creates toxic byproducts that frequently leak into rivers, lakes and streams. In addition 167 million pounds of pesticides and 17 billion pounds of fertilizer used to grow animal feed leak into waterways.

The Clean Water Rule, a clarification of the Clean Water Act ordered by the Obama administration, prohibited the dumping of waste in “navigable waters” without a permit. The rule exempts most agricultural drainage ditches.

As the attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt sued to halt the rule. Industry groups filed similar lawsuits. In all cases the rule was ultimately upheld.

“Pruitt took office already determined to slash Obama-era safeguards like the Clean Water Rule without concern for the dangerous fallout of losing these protections,” said Molidor. “It’s the EPA’s job to protect our environment from big polluters, not the other way around.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.5 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2017/beef-lobby-09-14-2017.php

4 comments on “Public Records Sought on EPA, Beef Lobby Collusion to Weaken Water Protections

  1. This is a perfect example of REGULATORY CAPTURE.
    Regulatory capture is a form of political CORRUPTION that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or special concerns of interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure; it creates an opening for firms to behave in ways injurious to the public. The agencies are called “captured agencies”.

    My personal explanation of regulatory capture is that the agency is corrupt and the agency employees are outright crooks! This is especially true of the BLM.

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  2. Cattle defecate in water causing E.coli and algae pollution. Fertilizers from runoffs cause even more pollution . There is very little potable water left.

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  3. “Swimming in a Cow Toilet” – Western Watersheds Project

    “Rather than meet the safe levels of water quality for human contact in all of Wyoming’s rivers and creeks, the livestock industry has successfully lobbied the Wyoming Department of Water Quality and the federal government to simply change the rules,” said Jonathan Ratner, Wyoming Director of Western Watersheds Project. “It’s disgusting for people and bad for wildlife, but apparently, the only thing that matters is what is good for the livestock industry’s bottom line.”

    https://www.westernwatersheds.org/2017/09/swimming-cow-toilet-majority-wyomings-waters-lose-protections-fecal-bacteria/

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