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1 1 PUBLIC LISTENING SESSION DRAFT USDA/EPA UNIFIED NATIONAL STRATEGY 2 ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND 3 4 5 LISTENING SESSION 6 December 15, 1998 7 58 State Circle Annapolis, Maryland 8 9 DR. THOMAS FRETZ (Moderator) 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 2 1 P R O C E E D I N G S 2 JOSEPH PIOTROWSKI: I'd like to welcome 3 everyone to our 11th series of listening sessions on 4 the joint EPA/USDA Animal Feeding Operation Strategy. 5 Number 10 was last night in Denver, number 11 here in 6 Annapolis today. 7 We appreciate everybody putting up with the 8 tightness of the room and the parking situation. It's 9 tough here at the holidays to find a good location and 10 get a room that doesn't have a party in it. So, we 11 can make this a party if we need to. 12 Direct Unified Strategy, as most of you 13 know, is a key part of the president's Clean Water 14 Action Plan dealing with polluted runoff. What we're 15 here today to do is do a little bit of an overview of 16 the strategy. After that overview we're going to take 17 away some of that equipment and ask you to come up and 18 make some presentations. We'll talk about the details 19 of that when we get to that part of the agenda. 20 Part of the reason we're here is the 21 dramatic change in the food industry over the last 20 22 to 30 years. We want to hear your comments today. I 23 do want to caution you, and I know you'll be cautioned DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 3 1 throughout the afternoon that we do need to be out of 2 this room at 5:00. So we want people to hold to their 3 three minutes and we are going to need to get out of 4 here by 5:00. That's the latest we have the room. 5 The hotel has another function here. 6 What I'd like to do now is for a few 7 introductory remarks is introduce first, our Assistant 8 Administrator for Water, US EPA, Mr. Charles Fox. 9 CHARLES FOX: Thank you, Joe. Very 10 briefly, our purpose here today is to listen and not 11 do a whole lot of talking. I would like to say a 12 couple of things. The first is to thank all of you 13 for coming here today we really do look forward to 14 your comments in helping to inform us in doing the 15 best job that we can on behalf of the American public 16 to come up with a draft strategy that achieves our 17 goals for water quality protection as well as a 18 healthy and thriving livestock industry in this 19 country. And we really do value the comments that we 20 will hear this afternoon. 21 The Clean Water Action Plan, as Joe 22 mentioned, was announced by the president in February 23 of this last year and it was really focused on the DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 4 1 very real fact that 40 percent of our nation's water 2 still did not meet goals for fishing and swimming. 3 We are here today talking about one element 4 of that Clean Water Action Plan, one of the more 5 important elements, trying to tackle some of the 6 emerging problems from the animal feeding operations. 7 Today's commentary, as Joe said, this is 8 actually the 12th hearing that we've had on this. 9 This is, in fact, currently our final scheduled 10 hearing on this document when it was released for 11 public comment on September 12th. And it is our hope 12 that we will get comments on this by January 19th of 13 this year to allow folks some time for the holidays if 14 you have some additional comments you wanted to send 15 to us. And you will hear from folks as to where to 16 send those comments. Thank you all for coming and I 17 really do look forward to listening to your comments 18 here this afternoon. 19 JOSEPH PIOTROWSKI: Next, for a few opening 20 remarks, I'd like to introduce Glenda Humiston. 21 Glenda is the Deputy Under Secretary for Natural 22 Resources and Environment with the Department of 23 Agriculture. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 5 1 GLENDA HUMISTON: Thank you. Just to add 2 to Chuck's comments, I want to say thank you again. I 3 know it's hard to get into this particular location in 4 the middle of the day at a busy time, a week day and 5 all that. And many of you had to take off work. But 6 it is important for us to hear your comments. This is 7 actually the 8th one of these I've attended and it's 8 been a fascinating learning experience. We actually 9 have learned a lot. We've already identified some 10 areas in the strategy where we have to do a 11 considerable amount of work to improve it. And that 12 really is the goal here. 13 I would like to make sure and make three 14 points; one, is there's been a lot of confusion at a 15 lot of the other sessions that I've been at. Many 16 people seem to think that this strategy is part of an 17 attempt to rewrite the Clean Water Act and I want to 18 assure it's not. This strategy is built upon existing 19 regulatory authorities for EPA and existing programs 20 for USDA. 21 Now, we have put into some discussion of 22 where the future may go and I think that's important 23 for you all to address, but as far as implementations DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 6 1 in the strategy, please try to give us comments on how 2 we can fix it; make it better, work better, because we 3 really do need the strategy out there to see how we 4 can balance a regulatory program and a voluntary 5 program so that we can serve the public the best we 6 can. 7 The other thing, two I know that some folks 8 have been a little unhappy that the comments you do 9 verbally today are not part of the official Federal 10 Register. Part of the reason for that is we're only 11 going to 12 cities and it was felt, in fact, I think 12 there's a legal basis for it too, if I remember the 13 lawyers telling us this a couple of months ago, that a 14 lot of people do not have the ability to hit one of 15 those 12 cities. 16 That's why we need your written comments 17 and actually E-Mail works too. We have set up to 18 receive E-Mail comments, however, we will be 19 transcribing this and I assure you we will take your 20 comments today verbally every bit as important as 21 written ones. But I do urge you to get the written 22 ones in. I don't know about most of you, but usually 23 for me after I go home from one of these things I DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 7 1 think of exactly what I wish I had said. So, do get 2 those written comments in to us because we will take 3 them seriously. 4 And, lastly, just thank you again for being 5 here because we are here to listen and we really are 6 very excited about the possibility of getting a strong 7 strategy out there to work for everybody. 8 JOSEPH PIOTROWSKI: As part of the 9 listening, of course, if you wish to make a statement 10 today and you haven't already signed up, please sign 11 up outside at the table. In terms of running the 12 listening part of our session that will begin after 13 the presentations. We're very happy to have 14 Dr. Thomas Fretz, the Dean of the Department of 15 Agriculture here at the University of Maryland and 16 he'll be giving you more instructions on the listening 17 part of the meeting itself at that stage. 18 Other members of the listening panel, in 19 addition to Glenda and Chuck Fox, are Dave Doss, the 20 State Conservationist here in Maryland and Tom Simpson 21 the Chairman of the Nutrient Management Subcommittee 22 of the Chesapeake Bay Program also here from the USDA 23 Extension Service here in Maryland, he wears a lot of DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 8 1 hats, today he is representing the Chesapeake Bay 2 States in the Nutrient Management Subcommittee and 3 we're real happy to have him here to serve as one of 4 the members of our panel. 5 Before we begin actually taking comments 6 what we'd like to do is just give you a brief overview 7 for those who haven't seen the strategy or read it 8 recently or those who haven't looked at it at all. 9 We'll just take a few minutes of your time and to do 10 that we have Joe DelVecchio. Joe is from the NRCS, 11 he's the Assistant State Conservationist in New York 12 and the leader of the National USDA EPA AFO Strategy 13 Team and also with him from EPA will be Will Hall. 14 Will is from our EPA Work Quality Industrial Permits 15 branch and he's a member of the Joint Strategy 16 Development Team. So, Joe and Will. 17 (Slide show presentation was given) 18 JOSEPH PIOTROWSKI: The next thing down on 19 the agenda, I know this is a regional meeting, but 20 since the meeting is here in the State Capital in 21 Maryland, we thought we'd be remiss if we didn't at 22 least talk about the recent Maryland law dealing with 23 some similar problems that joint strategies are DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 9 1 dealing with and to do that we have two people here 2 from the state, Louise Lawrence, who's going to speak 3 first as the Chief of the Office of Resource 4 Conservation with the Maryland Department of 5 Agriculture followed by Dane Baur the Deputy Director 6 of the Water Management Administration at the Maryland 7 Department of the Environment. 8 LOUISE LAWRENCE: Good afternoon. I was 9 asked to just very briefly talk about the new water 10 quality improvement act here in Maryland and it does, 11 in fact, cover more than just animal operations, our 12 net catches pretty much everybody. The law says that 13 anybody who has an income of $2,500 or greater, or 14 eight animal units or more, needs to have a nutrient 15 management plan by specific dates. 16 The Maryland law has divided that deadline 17 into two different goals. One is to have a plan based 18 on nitrogen as a limiting factor; and that date is by 19 December 31st, 2002. And the other is to have one 20 that is phosphorous based, and that deadline is July 21 1st, 2005. So, it's a little bit different, it does 22 cover more of agriculture. 23 There are fines associated with not DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 10 1 compiling with the law. There's a $250 fine for not 2 getting a plan and $100 fine up to $2000 a year for 3 each violation of implementing a plan. There are a 4 number of incentive programs that are part of our law 5 that are an attempt to get people to come into the 6 program more quickly. We do have 1.1 million acres in 7 Maryland under the Voluntary Nutrient Management Plan 8 Program that existed prior to this act. The incentive 9 programs relate to cost-share payments for people who 10 have plans implemented by private sector consultants 11 who do nutrient management planning. They are 12 eligible for up to $3 an acre or 50 percent of the 13 cost of doing that; the caveat being that they have to 14 implement that plan immediately before the deadline -- 15 that they get that money before the deadline. 16 There are also some tax incentives, one is 17 to help people purchase manure spreading equipment. 18 There's a tax subtraction on the Maryland income tax 19 for that and there are some benefits, tax benefits 20 deductions you can take if your plan causes you to 21 purchase more commercial fertilizer than you would 22 have normally because typically you use animal waste 23 in your operation. You're eligible to get a $4500 DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 11 1 credit on your taxes in Maryland for up to three 2 years. There's another part of the law that talks 3 about people who apply nutrients, and farmers who 4 apply nutrients, to more than 10 acres are required to 5 take an educational class once every three years. 6 Folks on non-ag land will also have some 7 requirements for them to follow Extension Service 8 recommendations. We do have a poultry litter matching 9 service and that program is to pay cost share to 10 transport manure -- poultry litter rather, from parts 11 of the state that are experiencing manure enrichment 12 problems from poultry to other parts of the state up 13 to $20 a ton. Half of that cost share is provided by 14 the state and half will be provided by the poultry 15 industry. 16 We are also helping to match people who 17 have excess manure with people who might want to use 18 it and there is a requirement that all contract feed 19 lines in Maryland add an enzyme or some sort of 20 phitate to the feed formulations by December 31st, 21 2000, to help implement some strategies that will help 22 reduce phosphorous problems in poultry litter. 23 There are also some research monies and DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 12 1 some money to help develop technology and different 2 alternatives for animal waste. There's 1 million 3 dollars for the animal waste technology fund and 4 $800,000 a year to look into research related to new 5 nutrient management options to three year programs. 6 And that is it in, I hope, five minutes. 7 DANE BAUR: I'm going to follow that up a 8 little bit with a discussion about how the new act, 9 the new agriculture act, and what's called the Water 10 Quality Improvement Act of '98 in Maryland and how 11 that can nicely dovetail into the existing NPDS 12 Program that the state manages and how it also fits 13 with this AFO strategy. 14 First, I think, as many of you know, the 15 NPDS Program in Maryland is one of the model programs 16 in the country that was implemented as one of the 17 first states. And because of the Chesapeake Bay 18 Program we have some of the most advanced NPDS permits 19 in the country and some of the better running waste 20 water treatment plants and we're into our sixth or 21 seventh year on the DNR program, and while we're 22 accomplishing all this, we're trying to reach the goal 23 of 40 percent nutrient reduction both for nitrogen and DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 13 1 for phosphorous. 2 While we're doing this, we're trying to 3 watch very carefully the response in the receiving 4 streams. And with the annual report we've been able 5 to see some trends in current years that all of the 6 findings and everything that we've accomplished in the 7 mandatory programs through the sewage treatment plants 8 and the industrial clean-ups, and what not, is 9 starting to show improvements in the watersheds where 10 they're located. 11 On the other hand, even though we have a 12 lot more acres, as Louise has indicated, that under 13 the voluntary program has come under farm plans these 14 watersheds are dominated with non-point sources and 15 particularly agricultural operations that these areas 16 have not lead to noted water quality improvements. In 17 fact, we had this phisteria outbreak in '97 which 18 contributed significantly to the buildup that Louise 19 was talking about. 20 How this can be a win, win situation for 21 everybody is this; as was indicated this is a three 22 tiered approach under the regulatory program, one, 23 which is those larger operations that produce a lot of DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 14 1 concentrated manure waste. And those are basically 2 1000 and over for animal units which will continue to 3 get individual permits in the State of Maryland, 4 individual NPDS permits. 5 Then there's the second category which we 6 currently are defining as somewhere between 300 and 7 1000 animal units where there is some noted problem or 8 issue that needs to be addressed. Maryland has 9 adopted a general permit, a general CAFO/AFO permit 10 and we are addressing those issues through 11 registrations and implementation of DMPS through that 12 permit. 13 The new tier is tier three which is not 14 currently in effect in Maryland which is one that 15 deals with impaired waters. Maryland's current 16 approach, which is on the drawing board, is to 17 fast-track the TMDL's in these areas that are 18 concentrated agricultural operations. They also 19 happen to dovetail with a lot of the phisteria 20 outbreak areas and we have done the data collection 21 this year and we're looking at coming up with 22 implementation mechanisms over the next year. 23 What we're looking at is watershed based DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 15 1 permits as are accommodated in the CAFO/AFO strategy, 2 but instead of coming up with another agency 3 regulation and overlapping it with a new Maryland law, 4 we're looking with the Department of Agriculture at 5 trying to incorporate what needs to happen in the way 6 of waste management planning with nutrient management 7 planning into one regulation and how the Department of 8 Agriculture can adopt that regulation. 9 And then when the Department of the 10 Environment needs to come out with a general permit 11 for purposes of implementing a Clean Water Act, we can 12 put provisions in there that say compliance with the 13 Maryland Department of Agriculture's law and new 14 regulations satisfies compliance under the Clean Water 15 Act. This will accomplish a lot of things, one is 16 that you all know there's been some equity issues 17 between the point and non-point sources and with the 18 adoption of this law by the general assembly we try to 19 put some point/nonpoint sources on an equal par. 20 Also, the CAFO/AFO strategy, once adopted, 21 will create a level playing field for when some 22 Maryland agriculture operators believe is an inequity 23 currently in that under the new law they're going to DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 16 1 have to fast-track some nutrient management planning. 2 And currently throughout most of the rest of the 3 country it's still on a voluntary basis. So, once 4 adopted, this will kind of put everybody on both sides 5 of the river on the same game plan. 6 Also, a point that shouldn't go unnoted is 7 that when Maryland was doing it's tributary strategies 8 in developing it's approaches to addressing the 9 Chesapeake Bay Program in trying to accomplish 40 10 percent nutrient reduction as far as the non-point 11 slopes go we only assume that through the voluntary 12 program 65 percent of the farms would ever come under 13 nutrient management plans. 14 With the adoption of the law our goal now 15 is to achieve 100 percent coverage with nutrient 16 management plans. This is going to contribute 17 significantly to reaching the 40 percent goal. It's 18 going to provide, as I've indicated, the mechanism 19 whereby we can implement reasonable TMDL approaches in 20 these non-point, source dominated watersheds. 21 So, all in all, I think when you look at 22 the new CAFO/AFO Strategy look at what Maryland's done 23 with it's Water Quality Act of '98, and look at our DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 17 1 need to address impaired waters, the need to dovetail 2 these new regulations and these new laws into the 3 existing MPDS structure. Maryland has a very unique 4 opportunity to make all this happen within one 5 regulatory process and to coordinate it closely with 6 the Chesapeake Bay Program. 7 JOSEPH PIOTROWSKI: Okay. So far we've 8 been doing all the talking at this listening session. 9 So, it's been kind of strange. Now we're really going 10 to get to the good part of the agenda; the government 11 stops talking and starts listening. And, to basically 12 handle the rest of the day for us and lead us through 13 that session, I'd like to introduce DR. THOMAS FRETZ 14 from the University of Maryland who is going to serve 15 as our moderator and sergeant-at-arms. 16 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Joe, thank you very 17 much. I don't know about serving as sergeant-at-arms. 18 I don't have a big hook up here. It's a pleasure to 19 be here. Let me just introduce myself. I am Tom 20 Fretz, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural 21 Resources at the University of Maryland. I also serve 22 in another capacity and that is Director of Extensions 23 for the State of Maryland. We are an objective, DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 18 1 science-based, education-focused organization. 2 Today I serve in the role of facilitator 3 which is an appropriate role, in fact, this is what 4 extension should be doing. Extension has a program, 5 in fact, in public issues education that brings 6 citizens, diverse groups of citizens, together with 7 views to address community issues and to make 8 important decisions. I can tell you that as we are 9 gathered here today we have another group of citizens 10 at the Wye Research and Education Center doing exactly 11 that, getting training on conflict resolution. Maybe 12 some of us should have gone to conflict resolution and 13 then to this workshop today. 14 But what we really do is work frequently at 15 the local and state level in facilitating discussions 16 of national importance. Our role is one of education, 17 it's not a role in regulation and that's why we are 18 here. It's a role in disseminating information and 19 facilitating debate on issues and also generating the 20 research. With that, we really do need to press 21 forward if we're going to get through our very long 22 agenda today. 23 Let me provide a couple of ground rules for DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 19 1 our speakers then I want to introduce a couple of 2 distinguished speakers, or distinguished guests, who 3 are with us today and then move on to having 4 individuals provide their comments. 5 We're going to begin by introducing the 6 speakers in the order that they signed up here this 7 afternoon and in that order I will call them forward 8 to provide their testimony. We will time speakers 9 giving each speaker three minutes. If you continue to 10 speak longer than the three minutes you will see a 11 clock here when the red light goes on your three 12 minutes will be up and at that time the stenographer 13 will no longer be making any recording of your 14 comments. We will not record after that time. 15 We have about 35 individuals who would like 16 to make comments. So, I encourage all of you to make 17 your comments keep them within the three minutes so 18 that we can move on. The meeting, as we indicated 19 earlier, because of prior commitments in this room, 20 has to conclude by 5:00. So, we'll try to keep it on 21 schedule. We also would ask that you do keep your 22 comments brief and to the point and if you have 23 additional comments, provide that detail in your DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 20 1 written comments and you've seen the address and I'll 2 repeat that for you at the closing of where you can 3 send your written comments at the end of the session. 4 I've asked that you use the microphone that's located 5 here. 6 Also, I will remind you that at the end of 7 this you will be able to find a brief summary of the 8 meeting posted on the EPA internet web site. Let me 9 take just one moment and introduce a couple of 10 distinguished guests that are with us. I know that 11 Jane Hashida was with us earlier. She has stepped out 12 of the room to take a telephone call. We also have 13 with us Kevin Donnelly, is Kevin with us someplace? 14 From the Dahlgren Natural Resources and Environmental 15 Control. And Dwayne O'Dell; is Dwayne with us? 16 Dwayne is the Assistant Director of Marketing 17 Development, West Virginia Department of Agriculture. 18 With that, I'd like to begin calling those 19 individuals who have signed up to speak, but before we 20 do that there is one special speaker. And that is 21 Congressman Gilcrest is with us and has taken time 22 from his busy schedule to be with us this afternoon 23 and wished to make a few comments. So, we will defer DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 21 1 to our congressman and let Congressman Gilcrest make 2 the first comments. 3 CONGRESSMAN WAYNE GILCREST: Well, we're 4 not real busy at this time so I could come down here 5 to say a few words. I want to thank the USDA,EPA and 6 the DNR for beginning this extraordinary process, not 7 only for Delmarva but for the rest of the country. 8 I just have a few questions that I would 9 like to get on the record. We have some more that we 10 will submit a little bit later on. I'd like to make a 11 very brief philosophical statement, if I may, and that 12 is if we look at the Chesapeake Bay, and I'm being a 13 little here talking about Delmarva, Maryland, in 14 particular, if you look at a map of the Chesapeake Bay 15 and turn it upside down it looks like the root stem of 16 a tree; deep into the ground. So, it absorbs 17 everything from that particular region, we know from 18 New York and Virginia and Maryland and Delaware, and 19 so on. 20 So, everything that goes on the ground in 21 this particular watershed ends up in the Chesapeake 22 Bay. And I am profoundly positive that human beings, 23 responsible adults, are intelligent enough to figure DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 22 1 out how we can sustain agriculture and sustain, with a 2 very high rate of quality, the purity of the marine 3 ecosystem in this wonderful estuary. 4 And, one of the speakers noted that if we 5 cooperate we have the talent to do this. Whether it's 6 the bureaucrats, whether it's the agency heads, 7 whether it's the integrators, whether it's the 8 growers, whether it's the consumers. And I don't know 9 what all the nine levels were, but it's everybody that 10 lives in a region. We're losing a million acres of 11 agriculture a year, we're losing 25,000 acres in 12 Maryland alone. We're trying to stop that. We don't 13 want to send agriculture away from the Delmarva 14 peninsula. We can figure out a way to deal with this 15 problem. 16 Just a couple of quick questions and I have 17 some more. I think we really want to understand 18 through this complex regime, the differences now 19 between some of the permits and voluntary programs 20 required in a sensitive area like the Chesapeake Bay 21 compared to what's going to happen in places like 22 Arkansas or Minnesota or other places like that. 23 I hope within the next few months we'll DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 23 1 know who will need the voluntary plans and who will 2 need the permits and the capacity about the people who 3 will then form and help develop these plans. Is that 4 going to come then to the Ag Extension Agency? Will 5 the system flow through the Ag Extension Agency we 6 have in Maryland, which is, I think, pretty positive. 7 Is there cost sharing in any of this; and how that 8 will work. Will our whole area, regardless of the 9 1000 animal unit, because it is sensitive watershed, 10 will our whole area require permits as opposed to the 11 voluntary plans? 12 And I think Dane made some comment about 13 integrating the Maryland Program with the Federal 14 Program, if that can move along, I think that's pretty 15 positive. And, as we develop the Nutrient Management 16 Plan, whether they be voluntary or whether they be a 17 permitted one, are we going to be sophisticated enough 18 to recognize the different soil types? And so what 19 type of nutrients -- the soil type is different in 20 Wicomico County than it is in Kent County; it's 21 certainly different in Arkansas than it is in Anne 22 Arundel. And we want to restrict the amount of excess 23 nutrients, but some soils take a little more than DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 24 1 other soils and certain ag practices, whether it's no 2 till or till, and whether you put in soy beans 3 following corn, following soy beans, or things like 4 that? Will this become standard across the country? 5 On closure, this last comment because my 6 three minutes may be up shortly. 7 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: We're not timing you 8 congressman. 9 CONGRESSMAN WAYNE GILCREST: Thank you very 10 much. I do have plenty of time. I'm taking a break 11 from the Shakespearean tragedy that's occurring in our 12 nation's capital. 13 When we implement this program, be it 14 somewhat voluntary or required through a permit, there 15 is going to be, I think all of us realize, a lot of 16 excess chicken litter out there that we're not going 17 to put on the ground anymore. And we really have to 18 go aggressively to figure out what's going to happen. 19 You can't always ship it up to Cecil or Kent and Queen 20 Anne County. Then they'll be in a problem 20, 30 or 21 40 years down the road. Are we going to have a power 22 plant that uses poultry manure as a source for fuel 23 that can take up to 800,000 to a million tons a year? DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 25 1 There is such a device that could be implemented with 2 cost sharing or pilot removal effort. How are we 3 going to get rid of the excess? We want a good 4 Nutrient Management Plan, we want a clean Chesapeake 5 Bay, we want a productive economically vital agricultu 6 community. I just wish you all the best of luck and 7 merry Christmas. 8 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Congressman Gilcrest, we 9 thank you for taking time to make those remarks and 10 kick this listening session off. We hope you'll have 11 the opportunity to remain with us the rest of the 12 afternoon, but we also know that you have some very 13 important business to attend to. And, from what I've 14 been hearing on the news, you probably have a little 15 reading that has to be done between now and Thursday. 16 With that, we'll begin with our public 17 comments and the first would be Deborah Attwood, Pork 18 Producers Council, Washington, D.C. 19 DEBORAH ATTWOOD: Hi, I'm Deb Attwood and 20 I'm here on behalf of the National Pork Producers 21 Council, NPPC for short. I was involved with the 22 National Environmental Dialogue on Pork Production 23 which took place throughout 1997. And I would argue DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 26 1 that many of the concepts contained in this Unified 2 Strategy resembled the recommendations that came out 3 of the stake holder process. A brief summary of the 4 dialogue might be helpful. 5 First, the dialogue's recommendations 6 include public participation procedures for permitting 7 of new operations and extending location requirements 8 to minimize environmental impact, standards for 9 designing and construction of all new facilities. 10 Nutrient management planning and the 11 development of application plans based on phosphorous 12 as well as nitrogen. Preparation of emergency 13 response plans, record keeping and inspections, civil 14 and criminal enforcement for the bad-actors that 15 repeat and the violators that shun their environmental 16 responsibilities. 17 A variety of forms of financial and 18 technical assistance to assure that producers will 19 have the resources to do the right thing and, finally, 20 certification of all producers. 21 Clarification because it's a point of 22 departure I think, from the strategy. It's not that 23 members of the dialogue in the pork industry want to DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 27 1 do harm to small producers, we don't. But in a 2 thorough analysis of some interesting data as to where 3 the pollution problems might be, we found that they're 4 universal across all sizes and types of operations. 5 The concern for the long term is that we 6 can forge diligently on addressing one type and size 7 of the operations in the pork industry and find that 8 we're still coming up short in terms of environmental 9 results and we'll find ourselves on the defensive 10 again. 11 It is the conclusion of our industry that 12 we go ahead and look to have all types and sizes of 13 operations involved with a very strict environmental 14 program. I think that we understand the political 15 problems as you move forward with this strategy and 16 we've also come to the conclusion that it's better to 17 work with EPA and USDA in the development of the final 18 strategy as well as states. 19 In that regard, we will continue to work 20 closely with all of you. I want to say in conclusion 21 that we have come up with a ground breaking agreement 22 called a Compliance Audit Program that goes hand in 23 glove with an on-line audit program that's open to all DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 28 1 sizes and types of producers. This CAP Agreement, as 2 we call it, was developed between EPA enforcement and 3 the industry and it's key that those asked in this 4 industry for this audit will, in fact, receive some 5 protections, limited liabilities if they correct the 6 problems, report the violations and correct Thier 7 problems. In conclusion, thank you for hearing this 8 out. Thank you. 9 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Karl Novak, Pennsylvania 10 Environmental Network. 11 KARL NOVAK: My name is Karl Novak and I 12 live in Bedford County which is at the head waters of 13 Sidley Hill Creek and an exceptional value near the 14 water. 15 Nauseating smells, toxic gases, viruses and 16 pathogens, water loss, water contamination, loss of 17 property values; all outcomes associated with large 18 concentrated animal feeding operations. Ignored by 19 local government, ignored by county and state 20 agencies. What about the Federal Government? Does 21 the Federal Government intend to act in the interest 22 of the public at large; the people who form our 23 democracy? It would seem that the Federal Government DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 29 1 in the name of the EPA feels that toxic gases, water 2 pollution, water depletion, pathogens and viruses -- 3 to help the people working in factories, the people 4 living nearby, loss of property value, all these are 5 problems for the states to solve. If this true, then 6 I have gone full circle with very little to show for 7 my efforts. 8 My township supervisors, and the head of 9 the Department of Environmental Protection in 10 Pennsylvania have visited one hog factory and said, 11 what's your problem, Karl; I didn't detect any smell 12 when I visited the site? That's exactly what happens 13 when you prearrange the meeting and set the stage for 14 the visitors. How many times must one go full circle 15 and come back with an empty cart before each of us who 16 is not pleased with the status quo is forced to -- 17 reduced to seek a radical alternative. A radical 18 alternative like the one carried forth by our 19 forefathers back in 1776. 20 Will your reluctance to act in the 21 minuscule bones of regulations that you are 22 coordinating and throwing to the public be tolerated 23 in the future? I think not. I for one have had DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 30 1 enough of this piece-meal diet which is the current 2 bill of fare from governments at all levels. I urge 3 that when the EPA ponders the morass with which you 4 are grappling you will discard indecision and inaction 5 in exchange for decisions and regulations backed by 6 funding and enforcement that will protect the public. 7 This is the original pact and vision of 8 those who founded the EPA. The question is, will you 9 unwisely compromise or will you protect the people and 10 the environment of this nation? Thank you. 11 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Thank you. Our next 12 presenter is Mr. Jim Lewis, Delmarva Poultry Justice 13 Alliance. 14 JIM LEWIS: My name is Jim Lewis and I'm 15 from the Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance. If my 16 congregation could see me trying to reduce this 17 message to three minutes today they would be in great 18 delight here. I'll do my best. 19 The Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance is an 20 outgrowth and an organization created essentially by 21 the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware. I was hired three 22 years ago to come and deal with the problems along the 23 Delmarva Peninsula associated with poultry production. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 31 1 The job of the church in this situation has 2 been to bring together those players around Big 3 Chicken and all who are affected by this industry. 4 Now, that's everybody from the people who 5 handle the eggs, to the chicken catchers, to the 6 people who work in the processing plants, to growers 7 themselves all the way down the line; everybody who is 8 in any way touching a piece of chicken. So, our job 9 is to bring those people around the table. 10 The alliance represents the interest, the 11 common agenda, that we developed in that constituency. 12 Our job is to identify the problems that effect all 13 pieces of this industry, the folks who are effected by 14 the industry, and to find common ground around which 15 we can work a common agenda to bring change to the 16 industry and to the environment in which the industry 17 exists. 18 Today we are here to go on record 19 supporting the poultry growers, those producers of the 20 chickens on the Delmarva Peninsula, those family 21 farmers who are responsible for bringing those 22 chickens to us. We're here to say that those poultry 23 growers are being stuck by the industry with the cost DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 32 1 of cleaning up the mess when they, in fact, do not own 2 those chickens and are stuck with the responsibility 3 of the manure. We are saying today that sticking the 4 producers, that is, the family farmers and the 5 growers, with this bill is not getting to the paupas 6 of producers which are the integrators, the companies, 7 the Big Chicken. 8 We are here today to say that there is a 9 concern from the church that the family farms are 10 going under. And the problems they are having 11 economically are a business of ours. That we are 12 going to bring together and we already -- all those 13 folks who can address these problems are here today to 14 go on record to say that the integrators, the 15 companies themselves, the paupas of this industry 16 should be the ones who get to pay the price. 17 We baptize our children in water, we go to 18 the well for water in our faith. And to deal with the 19 water on the Delmarva Peninsula in such fashion that 20 either ignores these problems or sticks the 21 responsibility to the grower is something we stand 22 against. 23 I thank you for this time together today. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 33 1 This is a question of pastoral, prophetic and social 2 and economic and conventional issue for us and we hope 3 that the EPA will not only call meetings like this but 4 come to the Delmarva Peninsula and meet with the 5 people that gather around our table; the catchers, the 6 growers, the workers. The people in the community who 7 are all concerned about the environmental questions, 8 whether they be inside the plant or by the streams and 9 rivers that are part of our area or on those family 10 farms. Thank you very much for the chance to do this 11 today. 12 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Tom Grosso, Chesapeake 13 Bay Foundation. 14 TOM GROSSO: Thank you very much. My name 15 is Tom Grosso. I'm the Maryland Executive Director of 16 the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The foundation has 17 8,000 members nationally and in Maryland alone we have 18 40,000 members. 19 I would like to first thank the Deputy 20 Under Secretary and the Assistant Administrator for 21 being here today. Your presence here indicates to us 22 that this is a very important, high-priority issue for 23 the administration and we're very glad to see you DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 34 1 here. I'd also like to thank Congressman Wayne 2 Gilcrest for being here. I know he's very busy and we 3 appreciate your stalwart efforts on behalf of the 4 environment and family farms. 5 The first thing I'd like to do is recognize 6 the efforts of farmers in the Chesapeake Bay region, 7 particularly, Maryland for all the efforts that 8 they've made over the past years voluntarily to 9 promote forest buffers, habitat restoration and 10 nutrient management. Just to note one example, 11 recently we announced a partnership with the Dairy 12 Network Partnership in Pennsylvania to promote 13 sustainably grown and raised dairy products in the 14 Fresh Fields stores here in Maryland and the D.C. 15 area. The milk is called Chesapeake Milk and it's a 16 partnership with dairy farmers to promote an 17 economically sustainable product that is also 18 environmentally sustainable. 19 Despite the best efforts of farmers in the 20 region we still have a very serious agricultural 21 runoff problem in this state and the region. And I'd 22 like to stop for a second and talk about agriculture 23 and help imagine with me -- I come to you with a DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 35 1 problem; there is a city on the lower Eastern Shore of 2 22.7 million people, phosphorous produced from that 3 many people. There is a city on the Eastern Shore of 4 roughly 7 million peoples worth of nitrogen. I ask 5 you to think about how you would deal with a problem 6 such as that. 22.7 million people, that's three times 7 the population of New York City. 6.8 or roughly 7 8 million people, that's about twice the size of the 9 city of Los Angeles. 10 The solution to that problem should not be 11 on the backs, solely, of the people who live in those 12 cities and work in those cities. The solution should 13 very much include the large municipality, and in the 14 case of the Eastern Shore, it's the large poultry 15 companies. They produce 625 million chickens annually 16 on Delmarva. We have an industrial waste problem over 17 there and the bedrock foundation of any solution to 18 an industrial waste problem the EPA and USDA have been 19 involved in this for many years, is a strong, firm, 20 but fair regulatory program. 21 There also should be economic market-based 22 incentives, but without a strong regulatory program 23 focused on those large companies that, as I said DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 36 1 before, own the birds, own the feed, and control the 2 process and production process, the program will not 3 work. 4 In conclusion, I would hope that in coming 5 up with this very strong regulatory program they can 6 keep the family farmer as well as the environment in 7 mind and I think you'll have a successful program. 8 Thank you very much. 9 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Our next speaker is 10 Mary-Ellen Devitt representing the State Agricultural 11 Association of the Committee on Organization Policy. 12 MARY-ELLEN DEVITT: Thank you for the 13 opportunity to address this distinguished group today. 14 My name is Mary-Ellen Devitt. I'm the project 15 coordinator for the State Agriculture Experiment 16 Station, USDA, CSREES, National Environmental 17 Initiative or SUNE. SUNE is the foundation for 18 proprieting several state partnerships between the 19 land-grant universities and the USDA property, state 20 research education extension service, or CSRES. 21 SUNE's mission is to broaden the 22 partnership to include other agencies involved in 23 environmental and natural resource management DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 37 1 programs. 2 SUNE is here today to represent Darrell 3 Nelson, the Chair of the Experimentation Committee and 4 Organizational Policy, or ECOP, and will also submit 5 attached comments of Dr. Walter Walla, the Chair of 6 the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, to 7 our written remarks. 8 Basically, SUNE wants to touch upon the 9 importance of both research and extension. The 10 extension functions of the land-grant universities 11 system as they relate to this unified strategy. On 12 behalf of ECOP, SUNE would like to applaud the USDA 13 and EPA for their joint efforts in drafting this 14 unified strategy for animal feeding operations. To 15 facilitate this implementation we would hope that the 16 EPA and USDA make sure to take existing state and 17 federal programs and to consider reaching a deal with 18 nutrient management, one that provides technical 19 assistance to AFOs. 20 The agencies may even want to complete some 21 kind of inventory to locate the stake-holders not 22 already included in the strategy like today's 23 listening session, especially research and extension DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 38 1 personnel working in the land-grant university system 2 on these issues. 3 SUNE feels that there are three primary 4 guiding principals that were mentioned earlier. 5 Number one, to build up the strengths of the USDA and 6 EPA and existing partners to make use of this diverse 7 tool including voluntary, regulatory and other 8 approaches. To coordinate activities and to focus the 9 technical and financial assistance to support AFOs in 10 meeting the national performance expectations. 11 Specifically, SUNE has identified about 12 seven rules that the LGU's can, and should, plan 13 implementing this unified strategy. I am pleased to 14 see that the USDA and EPA have identified cooperative 15 extension personnel as qualified specialists to assist 16 AFO owners and operators in establishing the 17 comprehensive nutrient management plans, or CNMPs. 18 (Time is up.) 19 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Mary-Ellen, your time is 20 up. Thank you very much. 21 If we're going to keep this on schedule, 22 we'll have to try to maintain that three minutes and I 23 hate to have to do that, but we will have to keep DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 39 1 moving forward. 2 Our seventh speaker in our listening 3 session, Rodney Branson, a private citizen from Baker, 4 West Virginia. 5 RODNEY BRANSON: Thank you for the 6 opportunity to speak. My name is Rodney Branson and 7 I'm a turkey farmer and cattle farmer in West 8 Virginia. 9 I can stand up here and give you a lot of 10 reasons why you should listen to me, but there really 11 is only one reason, one reason that's important and 12 that is I am a farmer. If it doesn't work for me, it 13 fails. It's that simple. 14 About a year ago I asked a nutrient 15 management specialist to come over and work with us on 16 a nutrient management plan. I chose this person for a 17 very specific reason; he was a farmer, he is 18 certified, by the way, he was a farmer and he still 19 farms and he understands the situation of the farmer 20 and the things that we come up against everyday. 21 You know you can mandate us to go out and 22 buy a tractor, but if we don't know how to use that 23 tractor and we've never seen one work then that DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 40 1 tractor is going to sit in the shed. That's the way 2 nutrient management plans are as well. A nutrient 3 management plan is a tool, a working tool. The person 4 that should have the best understanding of that 5 nutrient management plan is the person using it and 6 that is the farmer. He also needs to be involved in 7 the preparation of that nutrient management plan. 8 In our area this year we've had a terrible 9 dry period. If you look out at our fields the rye is 10 about this tall and it should be this tall this time 11 of year. Corn yields are down, our hay fields are 12 brown and our pasture fields are short, but ladies and 13 gentlemen, my nutrient management plan tells me that 14 it holds the same amount of nutrients as I did last 15 year. That's a Phallaceae with your system because 16 you're mandating and you're not educating. It's not 17 about regulation, it's about education. If you want 18 it to work. 19 In our area we catch a lot of flack from 20 the environmental community about what we're doing. 21 And yet, as I look to my neighbor on the right, he's 22 got a litter shed, he's got compost facility, he's got 23 a nutrient management plan, family farm, by the way; DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 41 1 to his right another farmer with a nutrient management 2 plan, a compost facility, a lagoon for his feed lot 3 and a litter shed; to my left the next farmer has a 4 litter shed, compost shed, nutrient management plan; 5 to the left of him another one with a compost bin, a 6 litter shed and a nutrient management plan. We have 7 two litter sheds, a compost bin and a lagoon for our 8 feed lot. Why do you want to slap these people's 9 hands and say, you're bad little boys by requiring 10 them to get a permit? You need to be giving those 11 people a plaque because they are protecting the 12 environment. It's about education not regulation, 13 that is if you want to protect the environment. 14 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Thank you very much. 15 Denzil Huff, West Virginia Farm Bureau, Coxs Mills, 16 West Virginia. 17 DENZIL HUFF: My name is Denzil Huff and I 18 am the Vice President of the West Virginia Farm 19 Bureau. The West Virginia Farm Bureau is the states 20 largest farm organization with an excess of 13,600 21 members. Our members are concerned about the 22 environment and have a long history of implementing 23 sound conservation practices in partnership with the DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 42 1 farmers of West Virginia. 2 The farmers of West Virginia have a 3 substantial investment over the last few years to 4 numerous incentive-based programs that are paying 5 significant dividends in improved water quality and 6 the reduction of soil erosion. We realize that there 7 may be site-specific problems. I think we strongly 8 believe that these problems are manageable and can be 9 solved through education and technical assistance to 10 these farmers. We, therefore, question the need as 11 the authority for the significant expansion of the 12 regulatory efforts as proponents of this strategy. To 13 the best of our knowledge there are no animal feeding 14 operations in West Virginia at the current time as 15 described in the Clean Water Act, however, under the 16 current proposal all farms may be considered animal 17 feeding operations depending upon the interpretation 18 of those making the judgments. 19 In West Virginia, like most other states, 20 we have farms, beef, dairy, hog, poultry and other 21 types where animals are raised, crops are grown and 22 animals are fed and manure is spread on the land if 23 necessary. These are simply considered farms not DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 43 1 animal feeding operations or confined animal feeding 2 operations as described in this document. 3 A large concern that we have is the 4 enormous amount of funds and personnel that would be 5 required to implement this proposal but no insurance 6 of improved water quality. 7 The State of West Virginia simply does not 8 have the resources to carry out this program. At the 9 current time there is insufficient funds to collect 10 needed water quality data to determine if there is a 11 problem with the water quality. We are sure many 12 other states use, or have used, best guesses or very 13 limited data to make decisions. 14 The West Virginia Farm Bureau strongly 15 recommends that, one, states be provided funds to 16 carry out a meaningful water quality collection 17 program based on scientific data not on assumptions. 18 Two, that the USDA work through NRCS and FSA and 19 continue the work that has been successful over the 20 years, that is providing voluntary incentive-based 21 programs and technical assistance and, three, that the 22 cooperative extension service and the land-grant 23 institutions be provided funds to continue research DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 44 1 and education programs that have been so beneficial in 2 the past. 3 Just a comment about the staff of the NRCS. 4 Over the years farmers have relied on them to provide 5 good scientific commonsense advice and assistance; 6 farmers trust them. If these people are ever placed 7 in a regulatory position they will no longer be 8 welcome on West Virginia farms or probably farms in 9 any other state. The same applies to the county 10 extension agents that have provided programs that have 11 not only benefited farmers but society in general. 12 Thank you for the opportunity to make these brief 13 comments. 14 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Our next speaker, Steve 15 Conrad, private citizen, Seybert, West Virginia. 16 STEVE CONRAD: Distinguished guests, thank 17 you for the opportunity to address you today. My name 18 is Steve Conrad and I farm approximately 1,200 acres 19 in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. I 20 graduated from West Virginia University in 1964 with a 21 BS in animal science. After a tour in the United 22 States Navy for nine-and-a-half years where I flew 23 fighter aircraft off of aircraft carriers, which DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 45 1 included three combat tours, I resigned my commission 2 and came back to the family fold. 3 My current operation consists of growing 4 turkeys and a cow/calf operation which includes back 5 grabbing to yearling calves, grain growing, hay and 6 timber. 7 In 1977 my farm was selected as the county 8 conservation farm of the year. I started using 9 poultry litter as fertilizer in 1980 by buying it from 10 my neighbors. At that time the best information 11 available was that litter could provide all the 12 nitrogen needed for crops but included no other 13 nutrients including phosphorous or finates. 14 In 1987 I built my first two turkey houses 15 and used all the litter from them on my land and still 16 using the best information that was available at the 17 time continued to only use that as a nitrogen source. 18 It wasn't until the early '90's that NRCS and West 19 Virginia University Extension Service found that 20 poultry litter was a complete fertilizer source and it 21 was not necessary to use phosphorous or finates on 22 those levels, but even using the practices I did, 23 still the phosphorous and pot ash level did not exceed DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 46 1 the levels of which I desired. 2 In the past ten years I have implemented a 3 nutrient management plan for all the land I farmed. I 4 have constructed composting facilities to handle the 5 death loss of my poultry houses. This past year I 6 have constructed a litter storage shed to ensure that 7 no litter will enter the nations waterways from the 8 storage area. I have constructed fences around the 9 cattle feed lots to keep the livestock off the 10 streams. 11 Two years ago I purchased a litter spreader 12 that had the capacity to spread the litter at the rate 13 the soil test required. All of these practices were 14 completed with the assistance of NRCS and West 15 Virginia University Extension personnel and done on a 16 voluntary basis. 17 In addition to the voluntary measures that go on in 18 Pendleton County, the town of Franklin is in the 19 process of designing and building a pulpulary digester 20 which utilizes antiherbic bacteria at a temperature of 21 135 plus degrees. When constructed it will be the 22 first one in the United States and only the second one 23 in the world. It will have the capacity to transform DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 47 1 80 tons of poultry litter and approximately 150 2 gallons of town sewage into fertilizer and methane 3 gas. That water that is discharged back into the 4 stream will exceed EPA requirements for clean water. 5 The methane gas will be utilized to assist both the 6 town and farmers to conform to Federal Government 7 guidelines and, I might add, all on a voluntary basis. 8 The Extension Service which was formed in 9 1919 and NRCS was created in order to work with the 10 nation's farmers in order to improve crop productivity 11 and the rural way of life. Both have been successful 12 beyond our wildest dreams. Through voluntary 13 cooperation these entities have enabled our nation to 14 build the most successful food-producing machine that 15 the world has ever known. Each American farmer now 16 grows enough food to produce for himself and over 125 17 other people. I mention this fact only to accentuate 18 the prior success of the partnership between land 19 owners and government. It is government at its best. 20 I thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. 21 Thank you very much. 22 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Mr. Kencel Metheny, 23 private citizen, Clarksburg, West Virginia. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 48 1 KENCEL METHENY: Good afternoon ladies and 2 gentlemen. My name is Kencel Metheny from Harrison 3 County near Clarksburg, West Virginia. I am the past 4 president of the Harrison County Farm Bureau and now 5 I'm on the board of directors for the West Virginia 6 Farm Bureau. 7 Today I speak to you, more or less, on a 8 personal basis. I don't mean to brag about my farm 9 operations but would like to tell you a little bit 10 about it. I farm approximately 300 acres with a calf 11 operation. I farmed part-time for over 20 years while 12 working full-time at an off-farm job. Not unlike many 13 other farmers in my area, I'm now retired though and 14 farming full-time. 15 The farm was not in the best of shape, 16 fertility was low, production was low and erosion from 17 the bands of strip mines and was not in very good 18 shape. With a lot of hard work from myself and family 19 I'm pleased to say that I do have a very productive 20 farm today. That did not happen overnight and was not 21 without a lot of assistance. We relied heavily on the 22 West Virginia Extension Service and the NRCS 23 conservation personnel. The local soil conservation DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 49 1 district and others have given us quite a bit of 2 assistance. I am pleased to say that my farm has been 3 used for field days, pasture walks, demonstration 4 walks as well as many people stop by and look at the 5 various conservation practices that have been put in 6 place. 7 With these efforts my family and myself 8 were recognized in 1996 to be placed in second place 9 in the State of West Virginia for soil conservation 10 committee. Again, I tell you this not to brag but to 11 explain that this happened not just because my family, 12 but because my family and I have worked hard to make 13 this a productive farm and we did this through hard 14 work and spending quite a bit of money, which was a 15 little bit hard to come by and a lot of help from 16 other people. But being forced to do these things 17 through regulations I don't imagine they would have 18 gotten done. I tell you that the farm would not be as 19 productive as it is today and maybe not even a farm. 20 Over the years there's been many people who wanted to 21 buy lots and wanting to build houses, but I believe a 22 farm that's covered in houses and the quality of water 23 that runs through there wouldn't be what it is today. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 50 1 Also, don't believe that my farm is an 2 exception but rather the rule of today's family farms. 3 My family, including the children, grandchildren, we 4 all get part of our livelihoods from the farm. We do 5 have meats, fruits, vegetables, honey amongst the 6 water. I cannot believe that there's land owners and 7 farmers with the duties to protect the environment and 8 supplies these necessities of life is not only 9 important enough to us and we needed to be burdened by 10 bureaucratic paperwork until it is a proven fact that 11 we're contributing to unnecessary pollution. I cannot 12 believe that the proper solution to better educate us 13 and it's perpetrators through the Extension Service 14 and Agriculture Service. Thank you for this 15 opportunity to comment. 16 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: We thank you for your 17 time. Mr. Russell Linger, Jr., private citizen, 18 Huttonsville, West Virginia. 19 RUSSELL LINGER, JR.: Good evening, I'm a 20 dairy farmer from the central part of West Virginia. 21 I'm a medium size dairy farmer. I think in the dairy 22 industry we're very concerned about the smaller dairy 23 farmer because they really don't have the resources to DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 51 1 implement several of these things. Our farm has a 2 manure storage facility and we have a nutrient 3 management plan and in 1994 our farm was designated as 4 the top state conservation farm. Also, a concern of 5 the dairymen is the standards might change five years 6 down the road and if we comply now and then have to 7 set up new standards we would probably need more 8 financial assistance. 9 Another thing that might be taken into 10 consideration is that where we might manage the 11 feeding requirements of the animals this should be 12 researched thoroughly before it's implemented. 13 Poultry has about a two-month cycle, hogs are 14 six-month cycle, but dairy has about a six or 15 seven-year cycle. So, if you did something to disrupt 16 the breeding or the efficiency of the cattle that 17 would -- it's a more long-term thing than it is for 18 some other phases of agriculture. 19 I do think that there would be more 20 accomplished through voluntary compliance than through 21 mandatory. Thank you. 22 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Our next speaker is 23 Mr. Norman Berg, private citizen, Severna Park, DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 52 1 Maryland. 2 NORMAN BERG: Thank you, Dean and 3 Congressman. We're glad to have back for the 106th 4 congress coming up. I'm one of your constituents and 5 I'm looking forward to the good things that you help 6 us do. I am Norm Berg and today I'm presenting as the 7 Washington, D.C. representative for the Salt Water 8 Conservation Society. We're a non-profit 9 international organization chartered in 1945. We 10 foster the science and art of salt water and related 11 resource management to achieve sustainability. We are 12 in the practice of recognizing the interdependence of 13 people and the environment. I have lived in this 14 county, or in Anne Arundel County, for nearly 30 years 15 and have served, and still serve, on the governing 16 board of our local conservation district. 17 As a personal reference, I grew up on a 18 Northern Minnesota family farm and this time of year 19 my dad insisted that everyday the waste manure had to 20 be hauled out to the field. I don't think it did much 21 good on some of those snow banks. 22 The document, 42 pages open for public 23 comment, has caused our society to develop another DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 53 1 issue based policy position. We do this by creating a 2 task force of society members who are most skilled for 3 that assignment. This is now in process and won't be 4 provided to the EPA unless adopted by our board of 5 directors. We already have policy positions on a wide 6 variety of conservation issues, water quality, wet 7 lands, municipal waste management and so forth. We do 8 this for use of the comments, witness statements, and 9 media contacts for our members. 10 Although the draft strategy for AFOs is not 11 a proposed regulation it does contain continued 12 approaches to implementing and improving existing 13 regulatory programs. 14 In the public's view no producer, 15 regardless of size of operation, should intentionally 16 cause harm to either the environment or to people's 17 health as basically adopted by our Maryland law. It 18 is my understanding that this draft and your listening 19 comments have a broad spectrum of views all the way 20 from too weak to too threatening. 21 As we have just heard from the standpoint 22 of what the media's telling us and others, the 23 National Pork Producers Council has reached an DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 54 1 agreement with the EPA, another cites that poultry 2 farms agreeing to limit pollution by requiring over 3 the next decade that they will release plans for 4 proper handling of manure. In the November of 1998 5 elections several states allowed voters to record 6 their views on large feeding operations and their 7 ability to meet stringent environmental standards. It 8 is a major issue in very, very key localities in the 9 nation. 10 As the former chief of the USDA's Salt 11 Conservation Service, a very real concern, and 12 especially by the members of our society that 13 represent the discipline that are needed to assist the 14 producers with plans and implementing the plans, is a 15 shortage of skills sought in our field conservation 16 technicians to meet the workload that would be 17 proposed by the strategy. 18 (Time is up.) 19 CHRIS BICKFORD: My name is Chris Bickford 20 and I'm Chair of the Maryland Sierra Club. We have 21 12,000 members in Maryland; 75,000 members in the 22 Chesapeake Bay watershed and 600,000 members 23 nationally. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 55 1 The Draft Unified National Strategy for 2 Animal Feeding Operations represents a fundamental 3 abandonment of the responsibility of governments for 4 environmental protection. Indeed, the Clinton/Gore 5 administration advertises it as such calling it 6 reinvention of government. Well, the document I 7 comment on today is not a reinvention but a surrender 8 to agri-business corporations. 9 The draft strategy document says that a 10 vast majority of AFOs voluntary efforts will be the 11 principal approach in reducing water pollution and 12 public health risks associated with AFOs. This 13 voluntary approach ignores the fact that the 14 controlling force behind the current and continuing 15 crisis with AFOs are a few large corporations who are 16 imposing a factory system on American agriculture and 17 family farmers. Operators involved in animal factory 18 production are not free agents. Production contracts, 19 monopoly control, processing and marketing, debt and 20 control of agricultural bank financing ensures they 21 are increasingly servants of the integrated 22 corporations we call Big Chicken and Big Pig. 23 The recent agreement between EPA and the DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 56 1 National Pork Producers Council extends the voluntary 2 arrangement to all farms through what they call a 3 Compliance Audit Program. That one has audits done by 4 inspectors selected by the Pork Producers Council, 5 provide operators with enough advanced notice of the 6 initial inspection to ensure whatever may be wrong is 7 hidden or temporarily fixed. It provides no 8 continuing monitoring of the animal factory for 9 compliance and hides the compliance audit from the 10 public in the extension of audit privilege to animal 11 factories. 12 In other words, voluntary means that all 13 corporations decide what to put in secret reports by 14 the environmental damage their animal factories 15 produce. The recent proposal by the National Broiler 16 Council is an effort to extend this bad idea to 17 chicken production as well. 18 It is my understanding that each animal 19 factory participating in the pork agreement that 20 passes the one inspection will have a sign in front of 21 their operation saying approved by EPA. This is a sad 22 joke. For EPA was created because polluting 23 corporations could not self-control the damage caused DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 57 1 by their profit in any environmental cost production 2 codes. Animal factory production is fundamentally 3 unsustainable. It destroys the environment, it 4 threatens human health and it puts family farmers 5 either out of business or makes them indentured 6 corporate serfs. We need a Federal Government 7 approach that supports family farms and 8 environmentally sustainable agricultural production, 9 not animal packing corporations. Thank you. 10 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: I'm going to try to make 11 sure that I haven't looked over someone on this list. 12 In going down through this list it's not arranged in 13 any kind of order but as you signed up today. Steve 14 Keeney, private citizen from Rainelle, West Virginia. 15 STEVE KEENEY: I too come here today 16 because I'm concerned. I'm concerned over regulations 17 and what they would bring about. I myself am a beef 18 farmer. I deal with livestock management, feeding, 19 manure, land fertilization, land application, and so 20 on, everyday. 21 Contrary to what many people seem to think 22 farming is not an easy, leisurely life. Some small 23 and medium farming operations as they ponder over DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 58 1 these regulations to come about said that they would 2 quit before they would submit to regulations. And I 3 know a few from my own experience. Once a farmer 4 quits and decides to take the easy life of an 8:00 to 5 5:00 job he won't be back to put food on your table. 6 I have another question about the application of these 7 and the large and small ones that seem to drop right 8 on down in numbers in the thousands for the CAFO and 9 300 and then drop on down. 10 Most of the farmers do not operate on red 11 ink/black ink accounts and balance sheet. That is to 12 say that they don't want to pollute their own water or 13 their neighbor's water. The best management practices 14 are already being used by most farmers because simple 15 economics. You can't afford to throw too much 16 fertilizer out, it costs money. You can't afford to 17 throw away nutrients in the form of manure, it needs 18 to be utilized. 19 However, in contrast, according to the EPA, 20 nitrates and phosphorous attribute to agriculture 21 income from other sources. The EPA tells us that the 22 suburban turf grass covers 46 and a half million 23 acres. In 1996 these terribly concerned Americans DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 59 1 applied 70 million tons of fertilizer and 35 thousand 2 tons of pesticides to their lawns and gardens. This 3 acreage covers more than all the acreage of barley, 4 cotton, oats and soybean in the U.S. A lot of things 5 can be grown on that acreage and it's something that 6 should be looked at. 7 The major points that I'd like to make, if 8 they ever get across to you, is that most of us 9 consider ourselves good stewards of our land and water 10 resources. As with any occupation there are those 11 individuals who can not measure up to very high 12 standards, however, these operators can easily be 13 identified by the lack of the best management 14 practices and cases of blatant disregard. There are 15 already existing regulatory measures which can either 16 cause them to correct their problems or have actions 17 taken against them. 18 I too would like to say that through 19 voluntary incentive-based programs much has been 20 accomplished and a lot more can be. Thank you. 21 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Thank you. Our next 22 presenter this afternoon is Janice Graham, HazTrak 23 Coalition, Galena, Maryland. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 60 1 JANICE GRAHAM: Thank you for the 2 opportunity for being here today. HazTrak Coalition, 3 we're number nine for your little groups that get 4 together, the environmentalists. And perhaps it's 5 fitting that we're the last ones because we do fight 6 to the end, we are the vanguard. 7 Congressman Gilcrest was up here and he 8 talked about the Chesapeake Bay and the ways 9 everything goes out to the bay and that it looks like 10 a tree that sucks it up. Well, it also goes into our 11 water. And I was very pleased to see that drinking 12 water was part of your strategy as well. What we're 13 here talking about today is a very important issue. 14 Two years ago no one would have ever expected this to 15 be on the front page of the newspaper. No one would 16 have ever expected AFOs and CAFOs, in fact, most 17 people didn't even know what that meant and yet here 18 we are talking about this issue. Well, it took some 19 real catastrophes to get us here, we don't need 20 anymore before we find out the solutions to the 21 problems are basic. I live on the Eastern Shore and 22 many of our people drink the water from the wells. We 23 have to be concerned about what goes on the land DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 61 1 because it winds up in the land and in our water 2 table. 3 Since HazTrak has worked so closely with 4 the Sierra Club on a Farm Outreach Program, Chris 5 Bedford and his presentation gave a background of what 6 we believe are the most important issues. I will not 7 bore you with going over the same things. What I'd 8 rather do is go down through the strategy that you 9 presented today with some of the problems that we, as 10 environmentalists, we might find in there. You talked 11 about your enforcement, you talked about voluntary as 12 opposed to regulatory, but all of it boils down to you 13 can have the best rules and regulations on paper, but 14 if there's no one there to follow through they're only 15 as good as the paper they're written on. And we have 16 found that to be true over and over again. 17 Most of our people in environmental 18 communities, and I'm talking about the Maryland 19 Department of Environment and the state departments of 20 environment, those people who are the agencies who are 21 to watch out for the people are under funded and over 22 worked. We need to have proper funding for everyone 23 at the Departments of the Environment if this is going DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 62 1 to work at all. 2 You talked about the oversight, and the 3 general, as opposed to individual permitting, it's 4 going to be a combination. The general permitting 5 does not work. Once you have general permitting 6 there's no notice to the community, it closes out your 7 group number nine. How are we going to know what's 8 going to be there? We don't find out about it until 9 it's already there and then we have a problem in 10 trying to work it out. 11 You heard people here talking about the 12 economic costs. Where is the cost to the environment 13 and the cost of cleanup involved in here? That is an 14 economic cost that is never considered. You talked 15 about education. Who's going to do the educating of 16 the people? You're saying we're supposed to educate. 17 When we go to our extension services, we go to our 18 department of ag. Many of these people only have the 19 information that's given to them and when you go into 20 those offices what do you find? The pamphlets are 21 from agri-business, the pamphlets are from the 22 fertilizer companies. Where's the true education from 23 an environmental point of view? So, who's going to DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 63 1 educate the people you want to educate the farmer? 2 We talked about trust and a close community 3 with USDA with the farmer. That trust and close 4 community almost caused a major disaster in North 5 Carolina. When the North Carolina Department of the 6 Environment wanted to find out information that they 7 needed desperately after the hog disaster occurred, 8 they couldn't get it because USDA and the Department 9 of Agriculture within the State of North Carolina said 10 that was privileged information. 11 I see that my time is almost up so I'll get 12 to bottom line. Bottom line, this is a complex issue, 13 too complex with science that is too new. What we 14 need is a timeout. We need a moratorium because you 15 cannot go to the 6,600 and get those permits done and 16 yet you are allowing new ones to come on line each and 17 every day across this country. This is too serious an 18 issue. It has to stop until you know what you're 19 doing; stop until the science is there. This will not 20 hurt a single business that is now operating, but 21 let's stop from putting them in until we know what 22 we're dealing with and a national moratorium should be 23 part of your strategy. Thank you. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 64 1 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Our next presenter is 2 Mary Marsh, Maryland Conservation Council, 3 Marriotsville, Maryland. 4 MARY MARSH: Hi. I guess I'm the short one 5 here. I'm here speaking to you on behalf of Vivian 6 Newman who has been working for clean water and 7 wanting to work with this over 25 years. 8 Nutrient runoff is a serious concern for 9 water quality, our drinking water supplies, and our 10 public health. Our waters must be protected and from 11 what I'm looking at, for what you have as a strategy 12 not just for beef and for pork, but also from poultry 13 manure. It is imparitive that animal waste from these 14 animal factories be included in any permit program and 15 rules for animal feeding operations. 16 In Maryland we've already learned that 17 lesson; that dry chicken litter when applied in excess 18 quantities on the land can, and already has, created 19 polluted runoff. We have experienced those effects 20 during the summer of 1997 and we all want to lower the 21 possibility of this occurring again. It is, 22 therefore, critical that the proposed comprehensive 23 nutrient management plan needs to be elaborated upon DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 65 1 in simple, common language. Specific nutrients need 2 to be enumerated such as phosphorous, nitrogen, 3 sylinium and copper. That means looking at the feed 4 for the animals. Non-point source runoff needs to be 5 addressed along with point source. Our aquafers are 6 just as important as our rivers. 7 It is also important that the farmers have 8 incentives to do this. Acceptance from the 9 agricultural community means answering the question: 10 What's in it for the farmer? The USDA and EPA need to 11 answer that question in a manner that is meaningful 12 and you need to keep in mind that the individual 13 farmer is not the industry and what helps the industry 14 does not always help the farmer. Technical and 15 financial assistance needs to be directed to those 16 small family farmers for plain implementation. In 17 addition, the nutrient management plans should be 18 required on farms that receive manure from animal 19 feeding operations. CAFOs and AFOs aren't the only 20 people putting the manure on the land. 21 Finally, meaningful mandatory compliance 22 and enforcement policies are required to ensure full 23 implementation of the nutrient management plans. We DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 66 1 cannot expect the fox to guard the hen house without 2 repercussions. Our water supplies are too fragile. 3 Voluntary compliance programs don't solve the problem, 4 they just pass the buck. 5 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Ms. Christine Johnson, 6 DelMarVA Contract Poultry Growers Association, Marion, 7 Maryland. 8 CHRISTINE JOHNSON: Thank you for this 9 opportunity to speak with you today. And I especially 10 want to thank all the farmers that came out, even 11 though I don't agree with all their points of view. I 12 am a poultry grower on the lower Eastern Shore of 13 Maryland, Somerset County and I have been for 16 14 years. I'm also an organic farmer -- vegetable 15 farmer. As such, I have taken a long-term interest in 16 protecting the environment. Like most farmers I see 17 myself as a steward of the land, but I think some 18 farmers, if I might say so, are under sort of 19 illusions, two, I think there is scientific 20 information out there. I think there's information 21 about nutrification and the pollutions of our bay that 22 we have not been taking cognizance of and try to 23 resolve by EPA and USDA regulations. I'm hopeful that DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 67 1 some of these problems can be faced squarely and 2 resolved. 3 My problem is more -- the other farmers 4 talk about, well, the voluntary programs are great, 5 they work, we are stewards of our land. And at the 6 same time your saying hands off government, don't 7 touch me, I don't want to be regulated. I can see 8 that too because one of the great things about being a 9 farmer is you are your own boss, so to speak, even if 10 your hours are atrocious and your pay is even worse. 11 But what bothers me is I think we have a kind of nieve 12 view of government and it's rogue, to be quite honest. 13 And some of the people from the environmentalist group 14 here today I think have tried to show us that nievety. 15 For me to put it in a nutshell, my previous 16 training before I became a farmer was as a sociologist 17 and I think you can look at the state and it's role it 18 plays in society. You can look at how it changes 19 historically, but the state evolved as an institution 20 including folks like you good folks here today. It 21 emerged only out struggles on the part of certain 22 groups within society and so sometimes government came 23 to the aid of those groups. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 68 1 They were created to protect democracy; 2 thank you to my West Virginia colleague thank you for 3 bringing up the whole issue of democracy. They were 4 there to protect us. And EPA, it seems to me was 5 there, it came out of a gradient ground swell, mass 6 movement and came at a time in U.S. history where 7 there were lots of social movements against the war, 8 for civil rights, against women's oppression and for 9 the environment and great, hurray, you're there, but 10 now you're an institution that's 30 years old, you're 11 getting crusty, you're gettin bureaocrafied and you're 12 getting your pocket's lined here and there, you're 13 trying to hold onto your jobs. This is a reality, no? 14 Come on you guys, you're all part of the bureaucracy 15 you can tell me, yes or no. 16 My hope is that you are the sincere 17 colonels here that really want the kind of government 18 that can protect people equally whether a person is 19 poor or rich; whether a person is a hog farmer or a 20 hog consumer who has parties for 20,000 people, you 21 know, cooking his hogs on a spit medieval style. 22 Anyway, equally, that can treat us equally. 23 I think the problem is this: people are not DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 69 1 recognizing, and especially my legislators down on the 2 lower Eastern Shore who always are standing up and 3 saying I'm supporting the farmer, I'm supporting the 4 poultry industry. These are two very different 5 entities. I am a farmer; the industry is a major 6 corporation. My interest and their interests are not 7 at all the same. I am literally dictated what chicken 8 I will grow, what food he will receive and what am I 9 left with? I'm left with the shit, excuse me, and I'm 10 left with the dead birds. And you guys want me to 11 clean up the environment all on my shoulder at my cost 12 so you can consume cheap chicken and have a clean 13 environment. 14 (Time is up.) 15 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: I do not have a full 16 name on the next one. Someone is here representing 17 the American Turkey Federation out of Washington, D.C. 18 TIM MAUPIN: My name is Tim Maupin and I 19 represent the National Turkey Federation. I'm both a 20 poultry producer and environmental manager for my 21 company. Recently I found out I'm either AFO or CAFO 22 depending on who you talk to. 23 I want to talk a little bit today about the DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 70 1 voluntary efforts of the poultry industry in Virginia. 2 Back in 1995 our industry set a goal for the year 2000 3 to have nutrient management plans on all contract 4 poultry farms in the State of Virginia, in fact, we'll 5 reach that goal sometime in early 1999. That's 100 6 percent compliance by voluntary effort. Companies are 7 providing technical assistance to help growers get the 8 best management practices they need. Over half of the 9 growers with our company have litter storage buildings 10 or mortality composters in place. 11 Companies and growers are also working to 12 find alternative uses for poultry litter. In 13 addition, the poultry processors and growers and USDA 14 have been involved throughout 1998 in an environmental 15 dialogue discussing major issues involving litter 16 management within our business. This voluntary effort 17 to serve the further communication between our 18 industry and government regulators on the issue of 19 litter management. A report from this group is due 20 early in 1999. 21 In addition to these efforts, the National 22 Turkey Federation has developed a set of guidelines 23 for litter and mortality management which will DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 71 1 voluntarily be adopted by it's growers and processors. 2 The take-home point here is will a permitting process 3 for CAFOs and AFOs and impaired waterways -- what will 4 that do to ensure water quality? We're talking about 5 a dry fertilizer. Why are we going to spend millions 6 of dollars on a program that we're already getting 7 done on a voluntary basis? Thank you for your time. 8 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Our next presenter is 9 Mr. Martin Hahn, Amino Acid Education Council, 10 Washington, D.C. 11 MARTIN HAHN: Thank you. My name is Martin 12 Hahn and I'm here on behalf of the Amino Acid 13 Education Council. This is a group that disseminates 14 to the leading amino acid manufacturers. And, as many 15 of you may realize, amino acids are nitrogen 16 containing compounds that are the building blocks of 17 protein. The members of our association supply amino 18 acids for use as an animal feed ingredient. These 19 feed ingredients are used by the producers that this 20 particular regulation will have an impact on and any 21 regulation that effects our producers, of course, is a 22 regulation that is of great interest to us. 23 We encourage the EPA and USDA to listen to DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 72 1 the words of the farmers who have given presentations 2 today, as well as those farmers and farm groups who 3 are going to be submitting written comments. We 4 ourselves have been out talking to our various 5 producers, not just the large corporate farms, but 6 also the small farms as well. And we consistently 7 find two things coming back from our conversations 8 with these producers. 9 One thing that the producers are telling us 10 is that they want to have any regulations that 11 ultimately are issued to be based on sound science. 12 This can become an emotional issue. We want to make 13 certain that the regulations that are developed are 14 science based regulations. The producers also need to 15 have flexibility. Let's not give them a regulatory 16 list of does and don'ts, but give them the flexibility 17 to develop their own programs so that they can decide 18 what is going to be the best way for addressing the 19 environmental issues that are extended by their union 20 production facility. 21 I'd like to comment just briefly about 22 amino acids and how they can actually benefit and have 23 a role in this particular endeavor. One of the things DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 73 1 that amino acid supplementation has been shown to do 2 is reduce the amount of acid in animal waste. It's a 3 relatively simple concept. If you balance the amino 4 acid in the feed to meet the amino acid requirements 5 of a growing animal you can develop a feed that 6 actually has less nitrogen and, as a consequence, you 7 have less waste produced and less nitrogen in the 8 waste stream. 9 Studies have shown that through the 10 supplementation of just a single amino acid you can 11 reduce the nitrogen content of waste by as much as 24 12 percent. Now, by no means are we suggesting or 13 encouraging the USDA and EPA to come up with mandates 14 that require the use of amino acid supplementation 15 what we want to add is a flexible system, but we do 16 encourage you to come up with a system that does 17 provide the manufacturer and the producer with as much 18 flexibility as possible so that they would be able to 19 tailor programs to meet their unique needs. Thank you 20 very much. 21 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: We're now moving along 22 we're now at number 20 and still a long list to go. 23 And I do want to say, at the mid-point here, I do DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 74 1 appreciate everybody doing their very best to try to 2 stay on schedule and within our time limits. 3 Our next speaker is David Rickards a 4 private citizen from Frankford, Delaware. 5 DAVID RICKARDS: My name is David Rickards 6 and I'm from Sussex County, Delaware and have been a 7 farmer for several years. I grew up on a farm and 8 watched voluntary items that have helped the 9 environment over the years. We've always been willing 10 to do and work with anyone that comes up with a view 11 point that could help. 12 This is going to be a quick overview of 13 what could be a comprehensive nutrient management plan 14 for the Delmarva poultry industry. I am an AFO 15 myself, I have an operation with poultry. Purdue and 16 other large companies are addressing feed management. 17 They're using enzymes in the feed right now to reduce 18 the amount of phosphorous excreted. In order to 19 handle the storage, to handle the poultry, requires a 20 multi-faceted approach on the industry, especially on 21 the Delmarva Peninsula. 22 By rotary tilling the manure instead of 23 removing the crust from the house between each block, DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 75 1 which is one thing I can really do, the farmer will 2 only have to remove the manure once every two years. 3 Now, there's a possibility that a microbe can be found 4 that will feed off phosphorous in the waste and, 5 therefore, the phosphorous eating microbe can be 6 spread into the litter between flogs. The amount of 7 phosphorous contained in the waste would be cut down 8 significantly reducing manure removal to a bi-annual 9 event to enable the farmer to schedule most cleanings 10 to correspond with planting season. 11 Now, utilized soil samples with proper 12 nutrient management in balance with the soil can plant 13 crops to assimilate nutrients and prevent pollution. 14 Of course, accurate record keeping of the co-op manure 15 sheds will, after a two-year cycle, coincide with the 16 bi-annual clean outs, will allow the phasablility and 17 the management of dead animals, there's approximately 18 200 million pounds of dead chickens to dispose of 19 annually. 20 We need to consider all available methods 21 and through ongoing record keeping you can synchronize 22 the distribution of dead chickens. A reasonable 23 approach would have two, north, south territorial DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 76 1 districts will offer the flexibility to move carcass 2 distribution among the methods of disposal to coincide 3 with public demand for the products created. 4 Technology of irradiation offers a new 5 avenue of disposal. Fisherman have experimented with 6 sliced chicken breast as bait. And the main reason 7 for a current limited usage of dead chickens centers 8 around concern about bacteria contamination. Once 9 irradiated the meat will have an acceptable shelf life 10 and be bacteria free. The breast is best suited to be 11 sliced and sold as an alternative to squid, the rest 12 can be used commercially for crabs and conch as an 13 alternative to horseshoe crabs. The remaining 14 material not useful to the fishing community would be 15 composted. The dead chicken compost can be utilized 16 as one ingredient to create a soil additive similar to 17 one created and used by Bird Song Gardens. 18 Lowering nutrient phosphorous, the culprit 19 behind the 1997 pfisteria outbreak, has to be 20 controlled by all means available. A phosphorous 21 source in and of itself is the major ingredient 22 instituting 66 percent by weight of Bird Song Garden's 23 soil added. The dead birds beyond, which can be sold DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 77 1 by the two aforementioned methods, would be 2 transported to one of the big rendering plants already 3 located on the peninsula. Wetland nutrient filtration 4 can be created by damming the drainage ditches in 5 strategically located areas and utilize the native 6 trees and wetland grasses to filter this out. The 7 main native would be of course the old Ball Cypress 8 and the White Cedar which both have small, low-lying 9 roots so they can filter a lot better. Thank you. 10 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Next on our speaker list 11 is William L. Coffindaffer, private citizen from Jane 12 Lew, West Virginia. 13 WILLIAM L. COFFINDAFFER: Thank you, Dean, 14 and thanks for the opportunity to speak to you all 15 this afternoon. I am a beef producer and I'm also the 16 County Extension Agent and my remarks would be toward 17 section 4.1 Environmental Education. And I feel this 18 section of the proposal draft is not strong enough. I 19 think it needs to be reinforced. I worked for 25 20 years for a producer and they are a responsible 21 producer and we can reach these people through many 22 means. We can reach them through field trips, 23 seminars, producers meetings, result demonstrations DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 78 1 and individual consultations. We need to reach out to 2 these people that are very environmentally concerned 3 and will respond to educational based services. I 4 think also we need to look at the funding. We see 5 funding for regulations but we see funding for 6 research on a decline. 7 A comment was made a while ago that we 8 don't have the facts, I think we need to have an 9 educational program that is based upon research. And 10 we need to increase the costs of our funding for 11 research and not spend so much of it on regulations. 12 There is a responsible acting community out there 13 that's willing to work on it's voluntary part. 95 14 percent of this program is basically voluntary and we 15 need to strengthen that and work to keep them 16 responsible. Thank you. 17 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Next up is Anne Brown, 18 Southside Coalition, Southside, Virginia. 19 ANNE BROWN: Thank you for coming and 20 giving me this opportunity to talk. I'm a citizen of 21 Buckingham County, Virginia and I speak as a member of 22 the Southside Virginia Coalition and we will be 23 submitting our comments. No doubt the Pork Producers DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 79 1 Council is delighted with this proposal. I find 2 myself wondering how much of it they actually wrote. 3 As a citizen of a farming community that is currently 4 being torn apart by the invasion of the partnership of 5 Smithfield Foods and Carol Foods, I am outraged. 6 There are lots of problems with the 7 document, I'll just name a couple. The document 8 grossly underestimates the size of the problem, 9 especially regarding hogs. The limits you suggest for 10 regulation are rendered meaningless by an aggrate 11 industry practice of building de-centralized factory 12 units that fall just under the limit of whatever you 13 set it at and thus avoids all regulations. The 14 methods from which you measure impaired water and to 15 fine keepers pays lip service to the problem without 16 providing any protection to the public. 17 Your failure to address antibiotic 18 contamination and the full range of microbiotic 19 contamination constitutes a real threat to the health 20 and safety of all the people who are in producing 21 areas and the consuming public. 22 The so-called comprehensive nutrient 23 management plan is a farce as long as it is being DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 80 1 monitored by the very people who have already proven 2 themselves unworthy of public trust. It's again, the 3 fox guarding the hen house. 4 Your handbook on best management practices 5 is pathetic. It's out of date and it does nothing 6 more than rubber stamp outdated industry abuse; not 7 family farmers, industry abuses. You failed dismally 8 to address the complex and serious problems of air 9 pollution as it applies to all living things and the 10 environment. 11 You did not adequately address the problem 12 of disposing of the millions of dead bodies. Some go 13 to rendering plants where they become value added 14 biproducts, but if you don't address the problem of 15 depleting protein which causes the mad cow disease and 16 stipulating where those biproducts are fed to. 17 In our area what happens to the bodies is 18 they are buried or burned. The buried ones add to the 19 leached poison along with the legally leaking lagoons, 20 the burned ones are in direct violation with the Clean 21 Air Act since no permits are ever issued. Using the 22 25-year, 24-hour storm event is nothing more than 23 granting an excuse where we live to pump into DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 81 1 saturated areas. To add insult to injury you employ 2 hogs feed to be included in only five percent of this. 3 Agri-industry needs regulation the rest will 4 continue, no doubt, to be the good neighbors who have 5 in the past condemned our property, polluted our air, 6 and made our water undrinkable. I am not talking 7 about family farmers, I'm talking about the people 8 like Carol and the Smithfields. 9 You top this off by cutting a deal with the 10 agri-industry to restrict their cleanup policies and 11 then to restrict our right to due process and you dump 12 the clean up responsibility right back on the 13 communities that the agri-industry is in the process 14 of destroying. I know you're not done, but if you 15 believe that voluntary compliance is going to stop the 16 abuses of the corporate agricultural industries, at 17 least in Virginia and in other places like the 18 reservation in South Dakota, you are certainly nieve. 19 The problem is not in ethical family farmers it's 20 corporate agri-industry. Please revise this document 21 so that you don't force us to assume that the EPA has 22 simply become another special interest law maker. 23 Thank you. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 82 1 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Carla Martin, Kent 2 County, Maryland. 3 CARLA MARTIN: My name is Carla Martin and 4 I work in the Kent County Maryland Department of 5 Planning and Zoning and I'm here to speak on behalf of 6 the Kent County Agriculture Advisory Commission. I'll 7 be very brief. 8 Overall, the commission is enforcing the 9 draft strategy, however, the members do have some 10 concerns over the enforcement of regulatory aspects in 11 the strategy, specifically, members are concerned 12 about the amount of leeway in complying with nutrient 13 management plans and the amount of time to correct 14 problems before being fined. 15 And, in conclusion, I would say that the 16 commission recognizes not only the need to prepare and 17 implement nutrient management plans to protect water 18 quality, but also the need to protect the producers. 19 Thank you very much. 20 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: John Pemberton, National 21 Beef Association. 22 JOHN PEMBERTON: Good afternoon. I'm John 23 Pemberton Associate Director of Environmental Issues DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 83 1 for the National Cattle and Beef Association or better 2 know as NCBA. NCBA represents millions of cattle 3 feeders and canyon ranchers all who have an extremely 4 large stake in protecting the environment. There is 5 no other industry that exists today that is more 6 dependent on the quality of the environment than those 7 families and individual ranchers and farmers who not 8 only work with the land everyday but live in close 9 proximity. 10 NCBA believes that common sense and cost 11 effective principals can be applied to livestock 12 production to achieve water quality protection. NCBA 13 clearly agrees that the goal of this strategy and the 14 Clean Water Action Plan and that we need to strive to 15 protect the water quality and reduce the public 16 impacts. In achieving this goal we would ask that 17 decisions be based on sound scientific and complete, 18 up-to-date data. As things stand today, conclusions, 19 assumptions and accusations are being made that are 20 based on that and it is lacking in completeness and in 21 accuracy. This lack of information which is the basis 22 for many of the conclusions and assumptions in this 23 strategy takes away from it's credibility. NCBA DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 84 1 strongly supports voluntary, state-run programs that 2 are incentive based and allow the technical and 3 financial assistance where needed. 4 I would like to go through a few points in 5 the strategy at this time and we will send the NCBA's 6 written comments to cover issues in more detail. 7 First, NCBA is concerned with the fact that this 8 strategy failed to take into account the vast regional 9 landscape differences in this country. What holds 10 true in Texas does not necessarily hold true in Iowa 11 or Maryland. These regional differences must be 12 acknowledged if this is to be a true national 13 strategy. 14 Second, just like differences are so 15 important, there are the differences in species of 16 livestock and their different management practices. 17 What applies to one species of livestock should not be 18 assumed to be true for another. Much of what I've 19 discussed in this strategy hinges on the definition of 20 animal feeding operation and concentrated animal 21 feeding operation. However, as this strategy is being 22 finalized the EPA is currently looking at, and most 23 assuredly, changing it's limitation guidelines for the DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 85 1 livestock industry which could change the definition 2 of AFO and CAFO. If these definitions were to 3 change, the effect of this strategy would be dramatic 4 and the 95 percent voluntary aspect would not hold 5 true. I understand we cannot stop the process and 6 wait for change, however, we should rewrite a broad 7 umbrella strategy and change the key definitions which 8 that strategy is based upon. 9 The strategy calls for comprehensive 10 nutrient management plans. We agree that some form of 11 plan is needed and many of these operations, in fact, 12 many of these operators currently have some form of 13 nutrient management plan. We need to make sure that 14 these individual plans are recognized and that the 15 work is not duplicated. This is an area in the 16 strategy where the difference speak in management 17 practices have to be recognized as well as the various 18 regional landscapes. 19 As I'm sure you're aware the cattle 20 industry is currently going through a very difficult 21 financial period in history. Not only are cattle 22 prices extremely low, but we are seeing a rise in 23 urban sprawl and a lack of knowledge of the DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 86 1 agriculture industry and a backlash against the 2 livestock as a whole. We only ask that we are treated 3 fairly and avoid any political pressure to find a 4 solution to a problem that's source is difficult to 5 identify. The land and water are crucial to our 6 industry and thus the goal to protect them is very 7 important. This is an education process for all of 8 us. We hope that you will take the time to visit 9 cattle operations in different regions of the U.S. We 10 always welcome and look forward to working with you in 11 this process. Thank you. 12 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Mr. Bill Satterfield, 13 Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc., Georgetown, Delaware. 14 BILL SATTERFIELD: Bill Satterfield, 15 Executive Director Delmarva Poultry Industry 16 Incorporated, the Trade Association for the chicken 17 industry. We include among our members the majority 18 of the contract poultry growers and family farmers on 19 the Eastern Shore in Maryland and the poultry 20 companies. 21 We support, as an industry, the voluntary 22 and incentive based programs that have been discussed 23 today, the technical assistance to cost share. And DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 87 1 we've heard from some of our farmer friends today that 2 they work. We have concerns about a program that is 3 initially voluntary and with the EPA will become 4 regulatory in the not to distant future. 5 This strategy falsely assumes that large 6 size, or AFOs, equals large risk and that is a quality 7 assumption and it taints the entire strategy. There 8 are some questions about whether the Clean Water Act 9 even gives EPA the authority over non point source 10 pollution. There is such authority for point sources 11 but we question whether the authority extends to non 12 point sources. 13 The Draft Unified Strategy seeks to expand 14 the definition of non point sources of CAFOs to 15 include operations that historically have been treated 16 as AFOs. The EPA's attempt to broaden the CAFO 17 definition goes against congresses intent when it 18 authorized the Clean Water Act. This strategy expands 19 what constitutes point sources. If the EPA is 20 successful, the ramification to the farmers and the 21 ranchers will be far reaching. 22 The Draft Unified Strategy is unlawful to 23 the extent that it seeks to trade runoff for DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 88 1 precipitation as a type of discharge that can turn an 2 AFO into a CAFO. The Clean Water Act is very clear, 3 precipitation induced runoff is not a point source and 4 therefore it does not require an EPA permit. 5 Determining who will be subject to EPA 6 regulations is another question to which there is not 7 a definitive answer in the draft. In most states it 8 is widely viewed that federal CAFO requirements do not 9 apply to agricultural livestock operations that 10 produce crops and feed on farms and have sufficient 11 land to spread the manure regardless of the number of 12 animals. Such operations according to the prevailing 13 views are simply farms not CAFOs. The EPA seems to 14 suggest otherwise. 15 The strategy is also ambiguous regarding 16 how producers determine whether they will be subject 17 to regulation. Producers could get caught in a tug of 18 war between federal regulations pertaining to animal 19 waste and clean water strategies. We're also 20 concerned about some of the data in the report. The 21 U.S. Geological Survey, this 1993 scientific 22 assessment of the national water quality trends, 23 indicated that the national water quality inventory DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 89 1 used by the EPA is so severely flawed and 2 scientifically invalid that it could not be used to 3 summarize water quality conditions and trends. The 4 EPA has not, and cannot, successfully differentiate 5 between, or accurately quantify, the extent to which 6 variant nutrient and bacteria sources from waste water 7 treatment plants, sewage overflows, urban runoff, wild 8 and domestic animals and agricultural activities 9 contribute to water quality impairment. CAFOs are the 10 only point source permitted industry subject to a 11 national zero discharge. 12 (Time is up.) 13 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Gerald Miller, Soil 14 Conservation District, Beckley, West Virginia. 15 GERALD MILLER: Thank you Mr. facilitator. 16 I am Gerald Miller and I am a supervisor with the Soil 17 Conservation District in Beckley, West Virginia. I 18 had put together some notes that I had delivered to 19 you because as I sat there and listened to the other 20 presenters and I have read the Draft Strategy two and 21 half times. When I got to the half of the third time 22 reading it, I sat back and I've been involved in 23 agriculture all my life, I grew up on a farm and DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 90 1 worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 31 2 years and am now involved in the Southern Soil 3 Conservation District as supervisor, and I asked 4 myself if I had not been involved in agriculture, 5 didn't know anything about farming and I was reading 6 this thing for the first time, how would I accept it? 7 And my conclusion was that I would think that all 8 farmers are criminals. And it scared me to think that 9 because we have problems of pollution, and I assure 10 you that we as a history of conservationists take very 11 seriously our responsibility in our occupations to 12 clean up the environment and make it safe for our 13 children and grandchildren, but when we put together 14 all agriculture producers, large and small and treat 15 them the same, with the same set of standards, it's 16 kind of frightening and it kind of leads me to believe 17 that we are probably going after something in the 18 neighborhood of overkill. 19 When you've got your major producers 20 dumping pollutants into the waterways in immeasurable 21 amounts and we're comparing those people, or those 22 producers, with a farmer that's got a couple of old 23 milk cows, and I make that statement because in the DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 91 1 strategy it does refer to all producers by the year 2 2008 must have a plan developed and implemented. So, 3 these family farmers with two or three cows, a couple 4 of hogs, can do very little damage to a stream a half 5 a mile or a mile away. Yet they are going to be 6 treated exactly like the big producer. If they are 7 going to be treated that way I suggest that we have a 8 special allocation of funds, federal funds, to NRCS 9 programs targeted to the small farmer, the minority 10 farmer, the limited resource farmer. Thank you very 11 much. 12 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Kenneth Crown, Delmarva 13 Contract Poultry Association. 14 KENNETH CROWN: My name is Kenneth Crown 15 from the Delmarva Contract Poultry Growers Association 16 from Salisbury, Maryland. 17 I just want to know if in all these post 18 regulations there is a consideration here that isn't 19 taking place in the small farm and that's his 20 financial burden that's already placed on the grower. 21 We are not the corporations, we are independent away 22 from the corporations. Our contracts say that we are 23 independent growers and we are growing chickens that DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 92 1 belong to the companies of our contract. They hold 2 title to these chickens, they are owned by the 3 companies. The feed that is brought in to us comes 4 from the company. This feed has additives in it which 5 we find are starting to possibly cause additional 6 pollution by expansion of homes into the farm area 7 which also takes away from the areas where we can put 8 this manure and fertilizer. 9 But, burden wise we have invested anywhere 10 from $200,000 to maybe 1 million to 1 million and a 11 half dollars in our farms. After the financial burden 12 of the entire poultry industry the industry itself has 13 probably about 49 percent growers as a collective, 14 have a 51 to 52 percent investment, however, when it 15 comes to the final payment we end up with maybe -- 16 with the chickens 19 cents a bird at the tops and if 17 you multiply that by five a year we're not even 18 getting $1 a bird for the time and money that we put 19 into this. 20 We invest $200,000 into something and get 21 $1 a bird back and for that type of investment you're 22 talking about 40,000 birds tops you get about $40,000 23 back and then you pay your taxes you have to pay your DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 93 1 electric, you have to pay for all of the improvements 2 and they are constantly changing through the 3 companies, the integrators and now at the present time 4 they're pushing for tunnel ventilation here at 5 additional cost to the grower. We cannot afford to be 6 burdened with any other clean up or regulations. 7 Thank you. 8 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Christopher Zalewski, 9 representing the Biotechnology Industry, Washington, 10 D.C. You might state what your association is because 11 I don't have it here. 12 CHRISTOPHER ZALEWSKI: Good afternoon. My 13 name is Christopher Zalewski and I'm the Chief 14 Agricultural Coordinator with Biotechnology Industry 15 Organization. Bio is the world's largest trade 16 association for the life sciences representing more 17 than 810 biotech companies, academic institutions and 18 state biotechnology centers in 46 states for more than 19 25 nations. 500 of them are involved in research and 20 development of health care and agriculture, industrial 21 and environmental products. 22 It is a privilege to have the opportunity 23 to provide comment on the Unified National Strategy DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 94 1 and talk about agricultural biotechnology and the fact 2 that it's for animal feeding operations. The runoff 3 from animal feeding operations may, emphasis on may, 4 contribute to watersheds and subsequently water 5 qualities, bodies of water such as the Chesapeake Bay 6 subsequent to future imbalance problems aggravated by 7 excess loads of phosphorous. 8 More specifically, I have come here to 9 bring to your attention some agriculture and 10 biotechnology tools that may assist you in your 11 proposed strategy, clean water initiatives and 12 producers affected by your strategy everywhere. Low 13 phitic acid corn and phitates enzymes are a few 14 products that specifically address the water quality 15 concerns of phosphorous loading which may or may not 16 lead to environmental problems. You can use the 17 loading in combination with each other. 18 These products have been shown to reduce 19 phosphorous content in animal waste by as much as 60 20 percent. Insect protected ET crops are another 21 product that can contribute to water quality again, 22 but in more general terms. Low phitac acid corn is 23 genetically modified to contain 54 percent less phitac DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 95 1 acid than conventional feed corn. The seed 2 compensates the loss of usable with a usable or 3 digestible form for phosphorous, thus less phitac acid 4 in the animal feed to reduce the levels of phitac acid 5 excreted by the animal, in fact, studies have shown as 6 much as 30 percent reduction of phitac acid is 7 excreted by using low phitac acid corn. 8 As previously mentioned, enzymes that make 9 nutrient phosphate available for animal use are 10 collectively referred to as phitates. Phitates exist 11 throughout nature in plants, animals and micro 12 organisms. The lifecycle have the lack of ability to 13 produce phitates and the inability to produce phitates 14 and digest phitic acid is a particular concern, 15 fortunately, simple metal phitates have been 16 developed to address this problem. And when added to 17 normal or low phitate varieties of feed the phitates 18 release useful nutrient phosphate for the animal by 19 breaking up phitates. With more phosphorous available 20 to the animal, phitate supplements can also be to 21 reduce feed costs. 22 ET Crops are another product that 23 indirectly contributes to the reduction of nutrients DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 96 1 on the environment. First, ET reduces the damage 2 sustained by insect feeding which in turn makes the 3 crop less susceptible to infection. 4 I will simply conclude that we do look 5 forward to working with the USDA and EPA and assisting 6 the Unified Strategy. 7 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Clark White, private 8 citizen, Georgetown, Delaware is next up. 9 CLARK WHITE: Thank you. My name is Clark 10 White and I'm a private citizen and also the president 11 of the Delmarva Poultry Industry. The Delmarva 12 Poultry Industry has many concerns with the EPA's 13 Unified National Strategy for Animal Feeding 14 Operations. 15 The Unified Strategy has the potential to 16 create federal regulations for the poultry growers on 17 Delmarva while keeping voluntary programs for growers 18 in other parts of the nation. This is possible 19 because Delmarva operations could be considered as big 20 in areas of impaired watersheds, thus, subject to 21 regulations. When there is no proof that each 22 individual farm actually causes water quality risks. 23 While this strategy is described as leveling the DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 97 1 playing field, it actually could create multiple 2 levels with Delmarva being put at a disadvantage. 3 We also could encounter a situation where 4 the manure spreader is classified as a point source of 5 pollution and, therefore, is being subject to 6 permitting. The EPA tried to expand to every home and 7 garden and fertilizer spreader in America. After all 8 the real issue is nutrient applications and their 9 potential to pollute. Many homeowners think that one 10 unit of fertilizer is good, but two is much better. 11 The bigger the house, the greener the grass. 12 The Draft Unified Strategy uses vaguely 13 defined terms that the EPA cannot, or chose not to 14 define these terms. If these phrases are to be used 15 who decides what they mean? What scientific evidence 16 will be used to make these determinations? How is 17 nutrient progress to be monitored? By numbers of 18 CNMPs written or the dollars spent to apply 19 improvements to water quality. How will water 20 quality improve if not measured? What baselines will 21 be used? 22 These things need to be presented in detail 23 before any program or rule is adopted. Because of DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 98 1 this varying nature it is very difficult, if not 2 impossible to determine if nutrients found in a body 3 of water came from source A or source B or somewhere 4 else. This is a result of road runoff from golf 5 courses and all the yards and atmospheric deposits, 6 agriculture or something else. Are nutrient levels 7 the result of recent activities or from a decade ago. 8 Is the land owner adjacent to the water guilty or did 9 the pollution simply pass through his property? These 10 are important questions. This regulated program is 11 based on premise that an AFO operator is guilty until 12 he proves himself innocent because the tools do not 13 exist to allow farmers to prove themselves innocent. 14 The comprehensive nutrient management plan 15 section has a statement on feed management that says 16 feed should be modified to reduce the amount of 17 nutrients in the manure. This is not practical 18 because farmers do not control feeding programs. How 19 can the EPA expect individual farm families to have 20 any input on feed management. The CNMP record keeping 21 section says AFO operators should keep records that 22 indicate the quantity of manure produced and 23 utilization including where, when, the amount. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 99 1 (Time is up.) 2 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Clark, to be fair to 3 everybody else I'm afraid your time is up. 4 We are now approaching number 30, Patrick 5 Nicholson, Enviro International. 6 PATRICK NICHOLSON: Thank you. Enviro 7 International Corporation and it's directors and 8 consultants wish to make the following comments 9 regarding factory farming and antibiotics. 10 The USDA, RDD44 report entitled, 11 Agriculture Uses of Municipal Animal and Industrial 12 biproducts published in January of 1998 is an 13 outstanding document and I urge it be read by everyone 14 here. It clarifies so many of these issues that 15 people have been saying we don't have the facts. This 16 document gives us the facts. Among other things 17 animal manures today generate 40 to 50 times more 18 volume than public POTW waste. That's 40 to 50 times 19 more volume than bio-solids. Moreover, animal manures 20 today contribute 10 to 100 times more BOD per ton than 21 POTW waste. And these facts are in the USDA report. 22 Those who have gone through a problem with 23 alcohol know there's one critical standard in alcohol DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 100 1 treatment and that is to accept. Once you accept you 2 have a problem then you go about getting it solved and 3 all I'm here to talk about is the fact that I hope 4 that we accept that we have a problem. 5 A recent 12 page section of the USA Today 6 pointed out that 47 percent of all Americans do not 7 drink their tap water. After the hundreds of billions 8 of dollars we spent on cleaning up our water 47 9 percent don't drink their tap water. Somebody should 10 get punched in the nose. 11 More about facts. We've had some serious 12 problems with these types of materials, with all types 13 of organics but these types of materials. We had a 14 salmonila outbreak in Florida in 1995 caused by 15 untreated chicken manure. We had an ecoli outbreak in 16 Oregon in the apple orchards caused by untreated 17 chicken manure. And in 1993 half the city of Milwauke 18 had over 100 citizens die, half the city was sick and 19 100 citizens died because of what everybody suspects i 20 dairy cattle manure. We've had some serious problems. 21 I do want to make one statement. I've been 22 on this thing now for about 15 years. I respect the 23 integrity of the American farmer and his commitment to DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 101 1 the environment. I believe that, however, I am also 2 director of the county port authority and we are 3 having tremendous problems with both our water quality 4 and the fact we need to continue dredging because we 5 haven't got the job done in soil erosion. We just 6 haven't got the job done. 7 Manures have five or six basic problems and 8 they're solvable. We had the problem with odor; 9 that's solvable, the problem of vector traction, I've 10 been out to some of these family farms and the vector 11 traction problem is absolutely tragic. We have the 12 problems with pathogens that we mentioned earlier. We 13 have the problems with metals leaching, we have the 14 problems of nutrients leaching. Technology exists to 15 solve these problems. We've got to make darn sure 16 that we have technology transfer to help everybody 17 involved get these problems safe. And the most 18 important thing we need out of the government is 19 implementation and enforcement of regulations or of 20 guidelines. USDA could do it they have the field 21 force, but they need national help on standards from 22 EPA. Thank You. 23 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: At this point I'd like DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 102 1 to ask is there anybody who was on the pre-register 2 who hasn't had an opportunity to speak? I believe 3 I've gotten everyone who signed in who was 4 pre-registered. 5 There were 30 individuals who were here 6 today that had pre-registered to make comments and we 7 have finished those. 8 I'm now going to start through a list of 9 individuals who signed up at the door today at 1:30 10 and who would like to make comments. We'll continue 11 with the same rules however, we have to be finished by 12 5:00 and because of that we will go as far as we can 13 with this list, but I cannot guarantee that everybody 14 will get an opportunity to speak. The first 15 individual is Bill Kilby a dairy farmer from Maryland. 16 BILL KILBY: I'm Bill Kilby. I farm with 17 my wife and brother on a 400 cow, confined dairy 18 system. We've been in operation since 1971 so that's 19 almost 28 years. And in that time we've evolved with 20 the rules of the State of Maryland which, by the way, 21 I meant to say that Maryland's rules are probably the 22 toughest in the nation, but we work with NRCS in 23 meeting all the regulations as they have changed over DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 103 1 the years and I must say that the key to this 2 operation is the personnel you get. Nothing will make 3 a difference as far as mandatory or voluntary 4 regulations unless you have the added people for 5 salesman and the kind of people who can build a trust 6 between the client and the NRCS. 7 So, I would urge you to consider voluntary 8 works because it does work. I have 28 years of 9 experience and we have one of the only discharge 10 permits in the State of Maryland to spray and irrigate 11 waste and we've had it since the '70's and I'm pleased 12 to say that they have helped make it work for us and I 13 feel very comfortable with the way things are working 14 now. 15 On the other hand, I am also involved in 16 the local group of conservationists and I've worked 17 with the likes of the Chesapeake Bay and Chesapeake 18 Bay Foundation. And one of the ways I think that we 19 really could show the rest of the country through 20 balance and the best example, again, is through the 21 strategy approach to working in each watershed. That 22 involves a group of citizens who add conservation 23 people who are able to look at each problem for the DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 104 1 watershed and it saves a lot of duplication and it 2 saves a lot of missing problems and a lot of over 3 shooting the real problems that exist and it allows 4 your people to help solve the problems. Thank you. 5 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Next on our list is 6 Steve Wilson, dairy farmer. 7 STEVE WILSON: Thank you for having me. I 8 am a dairy farmer from Baltimore County here in here 9 in the State of Maryland. 10 First off I want to address how I sometimes 11 perceive government and the way things happen. I got 12 here today at a quarter after 1:00 because I was told 13 sign-up would start at 1:30. I have to be at another 14 meeting this evening. So, I got here early, I paid 15 someone to come in early because my government letter 16 said sign-up started at 1:30. I sat here and I've 17 been informed. I've enjoyed the other people but I 18 didn't have it in my time schedule today. So, I just 19 wanted to say that's one of the reasons I'm against 20 the government regulations on this. I want to see 21 voluntary things because that's how we can all work 22 together with the same guidelines and the same rules 23 that address to me as everyone else. I'd like to have DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 105 1 known that I could have called in ahead. I'd of 2 called in last Christmas, but I didn't know it. So, I 3 want to address that to start off with. 4 I want to just touch on a couple of things 5 and I am going to drop most of them. I am a father. 6 I'm a community citizen activist. I work as part of 7 the Gunpowder Watershed. We just recently did a 8 40,000 point check of the Loch Raven Reservoir near 9 that showed one new thing and it dispelled how much 10 sediment is now in it. Very little has gone in since 11 1972 which is the year of Agnes so we can really go 12 back to and trace how much sediment showed up in there 13 after that. 14 I'm going to drop a lot of things I wrote. 15 I want to tell you what the acronym FARMER stands for. 16 First American Responsibly Managing Environmental 17 Resources. 98 percent of the people who came to this 18 country were farmers, we're down to less than two. We 19 still believe strongly in the environment. 20 Like I said, I do have children. They go 21 to school and I don't want to be ashamed of what I do 22 in my community. I help out hundreds of kids every 23 year. They come out and I show them my waterways, I DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 106 1 show them my fenced streams, I show them my manure pit 2 and other things that we do to protect ourselves. 3 I'm going to skip everything but the last 4 thing on here and that is when I here the words 5 certified specialist I think of the word expert. And 6 anybody that's familiar with farming will take this 7 and smile upon it as what farmers think of as experts. 8 It's a steer telling a bull how to do his work. Thank 9 you. 10 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Doug Knox, pharmacist. 11 DOUG KNOX: Thank you to the committee and 12 thank you, the hardy folks that stuck around through 13 this amount of testimony. My name is Doug Knox. I'm 14 the NRCS national coordinator for the farm assist 15 program. What I'd like to say -- we've submitted 16 written comments so I'll keep my comments brief, but 17 what I would like to say is that the pharmacist 18 program is a partnership program funded nationally by 19 EPA, CSREES and NRCS, but most importantly at the 20 state and local levels. It's a partnership program 21 that state governments, local governments, private 22 business, farm organizations and environmental 23 organizations all working together with producers to DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 107 1 help producers build voluntary, confidential, 2 site-specific, action plans. 3 Nationally across this country we've 4 estimated that producers have spent over $50,000,000 5 of their own money in pollution prevention practices 6 as a result of the pharmacist program. I think this 7 shows very clearly this type of voluntary, 8 confidential approach not only is working but it's 9 working very, very well. 10 The pharmacist program is based upon three 11 or four key items. As we heard earlier today the 12 educational approach is very, very important. The 13 pharmacist program creates this educational approach. 14 A lot of times people don't realize how their 15 management decisions are affecting the environment by 16 going through this process it creates educational 17 awareness. It provides a local resource team for 18 technical and financial sound reasons to implement the 19 program. It more importantly, provides us individual 20 site-specific action plans that puts producers in the 21 lead in the management process, which I think is very 22 important. The ownership is there, the leadership is 23 there from the producers standpoint. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 108 1 We heard earlier today that we can do all 2 the regulations we want, but until that producer gets 3 involved then the ownership of that plant is probably 4 not going to have it. Thank you. 5 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Bob Miller, dairy farmer 6 from Maryland. 7 BOB MILLER: Hi. I am Bob Miller from 8 Cecil County here in Maryland and I'm a dairy farmer. 9 We have about 200 head of cattle and farm about a 1000 10 acres. My wife and I both are college graduates. I 11 do serve on the Maryland Land Preservation Board. And 12 I'm the father of three boys. And I do consider 13 myself and environmentalist. We farm, we make a lot 14 of milk and we make a lot of manure, but I'm not 15 afraid for my children to play on our farm. 16 I have five key points I'd like to talk 17 about. One, voluntary; a voluntary program would 18 definitely be cheaper to run and get better 19 participation and may wonder why I say that. We do 20 things on a voluntary basis because we do them because 21 we believe it's the right thing to do. If it is 22 regulated we do it because we have to do it and we 23 have to have it filled out on a form. We'll do DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 109 1 whatever we have to do to have that form filled out. 2 A voluntary basis we do it because it's the right 3 thing to do. My wife just told our nine-year old the 4 other day, you need to act properly not because your 5 father and I tell you to, but because it's the right 6 thing to do. And we want him to learn by education 7 not because we tell him he has to do that. 8 That leads to the second point, education. 9 We need to educate the farmers because there are, 10 including myself, we need to be educated on new 11 technologies and new ways to do things. There's a 12 reason why we do certain things. We don't do it 13 because it's just what we want to do. 14 The third point, we need to base things on 15 scientific research that have come through our 16 university land-grant colleges. I haven't heard a 17 single farmer yet that when he goes to a meeting 18 presented by a land-grant university that he may not 19 totally agree with it, but he respects that opinion. 20 We need to have those based on scientific data. 21 And last of all, we need to keep things at 22 a local level. How can a national level say what's 23 best for every county in the United States? We need DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 110 1 that at national level. 2 One more point, along with keeping it 3 voluntary we need more money for technical assistance 4 and financial help. Our local FSA office is a 5 tremendous office, but I've gone down there and talked 6 to the girls and their having a lot of problems right 7 now because they don't have enough help to get some of 8 these things. They would just like to be able to work 9 a little extra overtime. Right now they're telling me 10 they're not allowed to do that. Let's put some money 11 in that. They can do a lot of work for us and a lot 12 of good. Thank you. 13 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Mike Giambolo, General 14 Chemical. 15 MIKE GIAMBOLO: I'm Mike Giambolo with 16 General Chemical. General Chemical is a century old 17 company that manufactures inorganic chemicals 18 specifically, alum which has been mostly sold to the 19 paper and the waste water treatment industries. About 20 three years ago we introduced alum to the poultry 21 industry as an economic tool as well as a potential 22 phosporous management tool. We read the draft strateg 23 and we support a voluntary program and specifically we DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 111 1 support many of the components of the industry 2 management plans, specifically land application of 3 manure. Manure is a valuable resource to the farmer. 4 Feed management strategies, manure treatments and 5 certainly all manure utilization options certainly to 6 reduce the risk to the environment. 7 We have two suggestions, we certainly want 8 to make sure we target the right bad-actor. 9 Phosphorous is thrown around, we believe that it's 10 soluble or mobil phosphorous needs to be specifically 11 targeted here so we're not chasing the wrong thing. 12 Secondly, we think that the draft strategy gives 13 guidance certainly in feed management strategies by 14 talking about the fitate enzyme. We would also 15 suggest that that guidance be supported for alum in 16 manure treatments. Certainly alum has a track record 17 in managing phosphorous. 18 And lastly, just a comment we certainly 19 encourage the statement that says in an agressive 20 education and outreach program. As evidenced by our 21 efforts with the university system as well as with 22 selective agencies over the last two years. We've 23 tried to demonstrate the benefits of litter treatments DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 112 1 and the like. Thank you. 2 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: Mark Ripkin. And can 3 you state the organization you represent, please. 4 MARK RIPKIN: I don't really represent an 5 organization. I represent vegetarians who have yet to 6 be heard from today. 7 The animal waste industries have been 8 claiming they've been stewards for how many years now? 9 I wish I had a dollar for every time I read or heard 10 that farmers are stewards and the original stewards; 11 I'd be rich. Obviously, they're not all stewards or 12 else we wouldn't be here, number one. 13 Number two, the industry has vested 14 interests. I think that's plain to see. They were 15 claiming they were stewards for years while these 16 problems were being created and generated by the 17 so-called stewards. So, their version of steward 18 needs a little redefinition. 19 While I fully support the goals and the 20 objectives of the CAFO/AFO strategy, I also question 21 the voluntary status of it's provisions. Needless to 22 say, the USDA has a demonstrated history of a conflict 23 of interest and that is between nutrition and DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 113 1 promotion of the agricultural interests. And this 2 simply extends that tradition into environmental 3 protection. You cannot do both, you have to pick one 4 or the other. And I suggest there's only one right 5 answer. 6 Also, I'm a registered environmental 7 sanitarian in this state and according to Code marked 8 260402 you cannot dispose of human waste within 100 9 feet of a stream. Why are we debating about disposing 10 of animal waste anywhere? Small producer, large 11 producer, there's no such regulation for well, if you 12 have 20 people in your house well, you can't dispose 13 of it within 100 feet of a stream but if you only have 14 3 well, we'll let you put it right in the stream. 15 There's no such regulation. So, this stuff about 16 large producers, small producers, it's all waste, it's 17 all poop and it all pollutes. 18 I also sympathize completely with the 19 plight of the family farmer. But I oppose active 20 steps by government to assist in an industry which is 21 generally in support of laissez faire economics. 22 Let's give them laissez faire economics that's what 23 they want. Government should provide design DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 114 1 specifications, review proposals and inspect 2 installation of specific measures, period. Providing 3 active assistance is the role of the private sector 4 the industry corporations who have billions of dollars 5 and industry associations. That's what they're there 6 for, let them do it. That's not the government's 7 role. 8 If the industry must transfer those costs 9 to reluctant consumers then so be it. Tax payers who 10 consume these products are then obligated to take 11 responsibility for their actions and pay the cost of 12 production. Those tax payers who wish to avoid paying 13 those fees and costs should avoid consuming those 14 products and become vegetarian. 15 Most importantly, those tax payers who 16 already avoid consuming these products do not 17 contribute to this optional pollution production and 18 have no obligation to contribute toward its 19 compensation. That's not my problem and I shouldn't 20 be forced to pay for it. And, in fact, now that I'm 21 already subsidizing their hamburger, I'm already 22 subsidizing their heart attack, I'm already paying for 23 my veggie burger; now I've got to pay for their animal DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 115 1 waste too? Excuse me? I think that's a little bit 2 objectional. 3 Last point, you forgot the 10th role player 4 who is the most critical role player in all this mess 5 and that is the consumer. The consumer has an 6 obligation to reduce the impact by this industry as 7 well as other industries and that's where the demand 8 then comes in because technology has no pressing side 9 effects, we've all seen that. Technology doesn't 10 work. The consumer has to reduce their demand. Thank 11 you. 12 DR. THOMAS FRETZ: We have now come to the 13 end of the speakers that I have on the list and that 14 includes 37 such individuals. 15 I'd first like to thank the audience for a 16 long afternoon of enduring 37 individuals here 17 presenting comment. I'd also like to thank those 18 presenters who have remained with us during this 19 entire afternoon for their time and their input and I 20 know their comments have been very valuable to the 21 listening panel. I'd also like to thank our listening 22 panel: Chuck Fox, Glenda Humiston, Tom Simpson, David 23 Doss and Joe Piotrowski. DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469 . 116 1 I would also remind those of you who are 2 still with us that those of you who have not provided 3 your testimony in a written form, please do so. 4 DAVID DOSS: I think I'd be remiss if I 5 didn't say thanks on behalf of USDA and NRCS for your 6 being here and for your being part of this. And 7 certainly for all of you who have sat here throughout 8 this session without a break. You should be commended 9 for that. All of us at USDA and EPA and the Maryland 10 state agencies certainly appreciate the comments you 11 have made and the efforts that you have made in 12 bringing forth information. This is the last of 11 13 sessions and now we have until January the 19th to get 14 written comments in. 15 - - - 16 (Whereupon, at 5:00 p.m., the meeting was 17 adjourned.) 18 - - - 19 20 21 22 23 DISCOVERY REPORTING, INC. 1-800-251-3469