The dairy industry faces as big a threat from over-regulation at the federal level as at any time in its history. And nowhere is the threat more broad than at the EPA, not only in Washington, DC, but also at its regional/local offices around the country. Concerned policymakers estimate that the EPA will spend $350 million more this year pursuing it's agenda than in past years.
While the EPA can and should provide a very positive contribution to the environment and the betterment of American way of life, presently, over-regulatory zeal seems to be focused on dairy producers and processors. This has a devastating impact on producers, processors, and the dairy supply chain - all the way to the consumer trying to access affordable dairy products.
It Can Be Local: This over-regulation exists not only in broad federal undertakings in Washington, D. C., but also in local over-regulatory pursuits that can cost even the smallest dairy farmer millions of dollars. The critical element of any local over-regulation is that the EPA - especially if successful in an effort in a single county, state or region - rarely stops with that one proceeding. Instead, it pursues that same over-regulation in neighboring states or any state vulnerable to fighting extremely expensive over-regulation. It attacks a single farmer or group of farmers, because a small defendant can hardly afford to fight a massive federal agency alone.
One of the more highly publicized incidents is the multi-million dollar defense that producers in Yakima, Washington were forced to undertake over the alleged toxicity of manure. If regulators can force one community's small group of producers to spend millions of dollars defending one component of their business - manure - what's next ?
This regulatory process is so expensive, that even if the producer wins on the merits, financially the producer loses.
Moreover, in terms of bad publicity and loss of retail sales, the producer, processor, and the supply chain all the way to the retailer, loses.
Most frightening, the EPA budget seems to never run out of funds to pursue over-regulation. It has the full force of a legal budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars. And the EPA pursues this over-regulation even if that state's environmental agency, Governor or legislature disagrees !
The most successful way to deal with unfair over-regulation is for dairy producers, processors, and the entire supply chain to come together and speak with one voice against unfair over-regulation.
A key point never to be forgotten: although an EPA over-regulatory effort may not be in your county or your state, and you may be in a neighboring state or even far away, the EPA rarely stops after one effort, and will likely take any victorious effort from state to state. That is why policymakers from neighboring and distant states are anxious to weigh in to stop federal funds from being wasted on unfair, unnecessary regulatory overreach.
Identifying American Dairy Coalition members being unfairly targeted for over-regulation and letting policymakers who want nutritious, safe American dairy products to reach store shelves across America will help prevent unfair, unnecessary, expensive, harmful regulation, not just where the first EPA case begins, but everywhere.
In fall of 2016, ADC released comments to EPA as a response to their “Draft Ecological Risk Assessment: Atrazine, Simazine, and Propazine Registration Review.” ADC asks that EPA retracts their most recent review and instead proceed with a review that utilizes sound science and is devoid of political bias. Atrazine has been used over the past 50 years and was determined to be safe in over 7,000 scientific studies. Read the letterhere.
American Dairy Coalition Inc.
PO Box 10976, Green Bay, WI 54307-0976