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 by Farmlady09 at 11:18 AM on Feb. 6, 2011
Answer by jesse123456 at 11:28 AM on Feb. 6, 2011
Answer by itsmesteph11 at 11:30 AM on Feb. 6, 2011
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