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          1                  PUBLIC LISTENING SESSION
          2                    ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND



                                LISTENING SESSION
                                December 15, 1998
          7                      58 State Circle
                               Annapolis, Maryland

          9                DR. THOMAS FRETZ (Moderator)















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          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

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          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

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          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.

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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,

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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   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   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   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   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

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          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

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          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

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          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.

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          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

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          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.

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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;

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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


         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

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          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   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

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          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              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

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          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.

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          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

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          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,

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          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

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          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

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          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.

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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              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

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          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

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          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

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          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.

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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.

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          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   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

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          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   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   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   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   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,

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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              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   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

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          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

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          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   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   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   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   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   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   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   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   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   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

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          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   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

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          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

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          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.

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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.

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          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   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   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   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   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

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          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

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          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

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          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.

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          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                          -  -  -






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