Slaughter Says New York’s Dairy Farmers Deserve a Better Standard

July 22, 2010 21:10

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28) said that the EPA should move faster to exempt dairy farmers from a rule that would force them to store milk in the same way we store oil.

“Anyone who has been watching the tragic coverage from the Gulf of Mexico will tell you that the milk our New York dairy farmers put on our dinner table is not the same thing as the bubbling crude washing up on our beaches,” said Slaughter, a member of the Congressional Dairy Caucus. “Today I’m joining with the International Dairy Foods Association and others asking the EPA to differentiate once and for all between the storage of milk and the storage of oil.”

Slaughter and other lawmakers have requested that the EPA issue an extension of a temporary waiver from the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule for milk storage tanks until the EPA is able to finalize a permanent exemption of milk storage tanks from the rule.

Without the necessary fix, milk silos, tanks and other equipment would be forced to comply with the Clean Water Act’s SPCC Rule starting in November. The rule was put in place to prevent oils from leaking into nearby water supplies. Yet the construction of dairy tanks is very different from the construction of other oil storage tanks; almost all dairy tanks are constructed of high grade stainless steel.

The 28th Congressional district is home to 29 dairy farms as of the 2007 USDA Agriculture Census. The farms generated $14,253,000 in sales for the year.

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