Iowa Farmer's Union Needs Help On Water and Grassfed Meat
By The Iowa Union
The EPA has extended the comment period on the proposed revision of Clean Water Act regulations two weeks, with a new deadline of August 29. The proposed regulations are the agency’s response to the court ruling in the case Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA, in which both environmental plaintiffs and feedlot industry plaintiffs challenged the regulations issued in 2003.
Martha Noble is working with member organizations of the Clean Water Network which were involved in the litigation on an Action Alert with talking points for organizations to prepare their on comment letters. This Action Alert will be issued early next week and will go up on our website at www.msawg.org.
In addition, at the end of next week a sample comment letter will be posted on the Clean Water Network’s website at www.cwn.org. SAC (the Sunstainable Agriculture Coalition) encourages people to draft their own letters with specific information about feedlot problems in their state. The full text of the feedlot regulation and additional information is posted on the web at http://www.epa.gov/guide/cafo/.
SAC submitted detailed comments to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service on the proposed meat label claim and standard for grassfed meat. The comments support the 99 percent grass and forage standard being proposed by AMS, but asks for clarifications in definitions to close potential loopholes that could allow significant grain feeding. The comments also urge AMS to control the costs to farmers for participating in the Process-Verified Program and to proceed immediately to issuing for public comment the complementary free-range or pasture-raised label claim and standard so that farmers and ranchers can use them in combination. The comment letter will be on the website at www.msawg.org later today. If you have any questions, please call Tazuer Smith at the SAC DC office.
Also, your grassfed comments are due by August 14. There have been very few submitted to date. Don’t Delay! The action alert and our comment letter are both online at www.msawg.org. Though USDA is a week behind in posting comments to the web ( http://www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/stand/claim.htm), we are concerned that very few comment letters as of last week had come through with our message. This has been a 3-year undertaking – let’s not drop the ball at the last moment!