The Environmental Protection Agency withdrew its proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Reporting Rule late Friday afternoon. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President J.D. Alexander says the move is a victory for cattlemen and women. He notes NCBA called on the EPA to pull the rule early on. The fact that the EPA listened – he says – showcases the importance of cattle producers getting engaged in the regulatory process and making their concerns heard. Alexander says NCBA is encouraging EPA to redirect its focus to working with states and other partners to attain already publicly available information that would allow them to work toward their goal of water quality. He says it can be done in a way that doesn’t put the U.S. food system at increased risk – which was the primary concern of NCBA.
Cattle operations meeting the regulatory definition of a CAFO would have been required to report information about their operations to EPA under the proposed rule. The agency was going to place the information – including latitude and longitude or street address of the production area – on its website in an easily searchable database. NCBA feared extremists could access the information with the intent to do harm to cattle operations or the nation’s food system.