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Agribusiness Wants $12 Billion to Clean Up Their Manure Wastes U.S. Cattlemen's Davis on Animal-waste Pollution

Agribusiness Wants $12 Billion to Clean Up Their Manure Wastes
U.S. Cattlemen's Davis on Animal-waste Pollution: Comment

Jul 24 2001

Washington, July 24 (Bloomberg) -- Eric Davis, vice president of the
National Cattlemen's Beef Association and a rancher from Idaho, comments on
the need for Congress to allocate $12.2 billion in a new farm bill to
control animal waste, in testimony before the Senate Agriculture Committee:

''It is critical that the new 2002 farm bill make a major new commitment to
providing livestock producers'' with money to meet more stringent rules
curbing animal-waste runoff to reduce pollution in streams, lakes and
rivers, Davis said.

A 10-year, $168 billion farm bill proposed in the House would provide about
$1.2 billion each year, or $12 billion over 10 years, to help reduce
pollution, though it would be divided between crop and livestock farmers.
That may not be enough, Davis said. The Senate hasn't yet drafted a farm
bill. The current farm law expires next year.

''Livestock producers in several states face, or will soon face, costly
environmental regulations as a result of state or federal law designed to
protect water quality,'' Davis said.

These laws include the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. States
considering tougher anti-pollution requirements are Alabama, California,
Iowa, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania,
Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Davis told the Senate panel that more than $12.2 billion is needed over the
next decade to meet requirements faced by the livestock, hog and poultry
industries.

It may cost about $9.8 billion over 10 years to build manure storage pits,
lagoons or other structures to reduce manure pollution, and another $2.4
billion over the same period to maintain them, Davis said.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, said the
government should help the livestock industry pay for measures to reduce
pollution.

''However, we must be careful to not go down the road of subsidizing large
livestock operations unfairly or financing technologies -- such as manure
lagoons -- that soon should be obsolete.'' Harkin said in a statement.

--Roger Runningen in Washington

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