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Will dairy farmers be crying over spilled milk?

Ottawa County, MI —

Milk does a body good, but what does it do to a river?

New Environmental Protection Agency regulations treat spilled milk like oil, requiring farmers to build extra storage tanks and form emergency spill plans.

Local farming advocates says it’s ridiculous to regulate a liquid with a small percentage of butter fat the same way as the now-infamous BP oil spill.

“It’s just another, unnecessary over-regulation by the government just lacking any common sense,” said Bill Robb, dairy educator for Michigan State University Extension.

“But milk actually has a lot of nutrients. If it spills, all the animals and the critters would have an extra dose of nutrients.”

The EPA regulations state that “milk typically contains a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil. Thus, containers storing milk are subject to the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Program rule when they meet the applicability criteria ...”

Michigan lawmakers have picked up on the sour scent of the regulations — state Sen. Wayne Kuipers on the state level and U.S. Rep. Candice Miller in Washington.

“The EPA has an important job, and it should properly place its focus where it belongs — on spilled oil, not spilled milk,” Miller said.

Michael Geerlings, a dairy farmer with farms in Allegan and Kent counties, said 2009 was the worst for the dairy industry in 80 years.

Will 2010 be as bad?

“I hope not, because I don’t know if I’ll stay in business if it is,” he said.

And adding extra regulations won’t help that already sinking bottom line, said Ottawa County MSU-E Director Adam Kantrovich.

“If they follow through with this, it will become detrimental, and I can easily see some of the smaller producers going out of business because of the cost,” he said.

Already, the EPA is responding to the backlash from lawmakers and farmers.

In response to a letter from the National Milk Producers Federation, EPA officials are extending implementation dates until the EPA decides whether or not to include milk storage facilities with the new rules.

Answer Question

Asked by Carpy at 10:52 AM on Feb. 6, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (114,053 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • This is what happens when greedy idiots with no common sense are given vast sums of money and the freedom to use it in any way they choose.

    It's also a reason I'm glad I have a teeny cluster of lactating goats hanging around. I'm not stuck paying the high costs for milk OR regulated to death (yet) to produce my own milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 11:18 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • I love making goat cheese and cows milk sucks in comparison to goat mlk.

    Comment by Carpy (original poster) at 11:24 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • Get rid of the EPA. NOW!

    Answer by jesse123456 at 11:28 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • Thanks for getting all those sites Carpy. I was short on time and only had time to find the one in my question. Some people here like to try and spin your question into oblivion because many won't do "real" research. Whether or not they are really talking about spilled milk has nothing to do with the money they want to spend on these crazy regulations. Hard to believe people can't see just how useless and actually bad the EPA is for America

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 11:30 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • Your welcome itsme, I am hoping some ignorant people return to your question so they can have a wonderful meal of their own words. Especially this comment

    Your post is a direct quote from some crazy blogger who didn't check the facts

    and this reply

    Seems you didn't check them to well yourself. Thomas Sowell is not a crazy blogger. He is an economist and a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

    He received his BA in Economics from Harvard and his Masters from Columbia

    He has been awarded the National Humanities award and the Bradley Award for intellectual achievement.

    Oh, and he is African American.

    So what have you accomplished?

    Comment by Carpy (original poster) at 11:40 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • I hold Thomas Sowell in high regard. He is a very intelligent man.

    Comment by Carpy (original poster) at 11:40 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • I also do, Carpy.

    Answer by tinamatt at 12:22 PM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • Oh! I see you're doing the misinformation thing again...

    Well here's a link to the post from lost night so we don't have to do this song and dance again.


    Answer by UpSheRises at 5:12 PM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • Oh! I see you're doing the misinformation thing again..

    Just to bad you were WRONG in that link,

    Comment by Carpy (original poster) at 12:34 AM on Feb. 7, 2011

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