The Humane Society of the United States has plans to sue six pork production companies citing unreported releases of hazardous pollutant ammonia. The group’s news release references gestation crates multiple times. HSUS says the operations located throughout Iowa, North Carolina and Oklahoma were identified after months of research. Utilizing an equation available on the Environmental Protection Agency and National Pork Producers Council websites to estimate the amount of ammonia release from each of the facilities served with a notice of intent to sue – HSUS contends these 51 facilities are emitting above the legal threshold. But National Pork Board Director of Environmental Programs Allan Stokes says the equation was meant as an aide for livestock producers – not a regulatory tool or absolute determinant of whether an operation exceeds regulatory reporting thresholds. The equation also fails to account for ammonia mitigation techniques that might be in place on a farm. Further – Stokes says the EPA has not adopted final Emission Estimating Methods for swine operations.
According to HSUS – the letters of intent to sue are being filed in accordance with the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. The group argues the facilities in question have failed to adequately report their emissions as required by the law. NPPC says it is worth noting that HSUS is not alleging environmental harm – but paperwork violations. The group says the HSUS action is another scare tactic to get NPPC to back off its opposition to the HSUS Egg Bill and the HSUS campaign against family farmers who use individual sow housing. In addition to not telling the truth about how hog farmers raise and care for their animals – NPPC says HSUS now is lying about hog farmers' stewardship of the environment – which is exemplary.
HSUS cites the following pork production companies: Christensen Farms & Feedlots, Iowa Select Farms, The Maschhoffs, Seaboard Corp., The Hanor Company of Wisconsin and Austin “Jack” Decoster (Decoster Enterprises, Iowa Quality Farms and Galt Real Estate).