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Bush's EPA Continues to Allow Meat Industry to Pollute the Environment

>From <>

JANUARY 21, 2005
2:44 PM

CONTACT: Sierra Club
Ed Hopkins, 202-675-7908
Orli Cotel, 415-977-5627

Sierra Club Response to EPA's Backroom Deal with the Meat Industry Statement
by Ed Hopkins, Environmental Quality Director

WASHINGTON -- January 21 -- The following is a statement on the EPA's
signing today of a deal that exempts factory farms from pollution
requirements under the Clean Air Act and the Comprehensive Environmental
Response Compensation and Liability Act. In addition to the following
statement by the Sierra Club, you can find more information on the
background of this issue at:

"The deal signed today by the Bush administration lets the meat industry
off-the-hook for air pollution and reporting toxic releases from factory
farms. Rural families have been suffering from this pollution for years, and
now they will have to wait at least until 2011 for relief.

"Instead of forcing polluters to clean up their act, the Bush administration
has given them a get-out-of-jail-free card.

"This is an agreement of the polluters, by the polluters, and for the
polluters. Last year, leaked documents revealed that this deal was crafted
behind closed doors, by industry lobbyists, while the public was left in the
dark. The Bush administration repeatedly denied that any such negotiations
were taking place, until the EPA's own documents proved otherwise.

"The largest corporations in the livestock industry are being let
off-the-hook in exchange for agreeing to 'study' their air pollution and
paying small fees. Under this deal, the companies are not actually required
to reduce any harmful pollution. It's nothing more than a slap on the wrist,
and does nothing to protect the health of neighbors and their children.
Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA already has the ability to require
polluting facilities to provide data on their emissions, without exempting
the polluters and putting nearby residents at risk.

"This is another example of the Bush administration striking deals behind
closed doors. Whether it's Vice President Cheney's Secret Energy Task Force,
power companies being allowed to draft rules on toxic mercury, or this new
deal with the meat industry, it's clear that this administration is putting
polluters before the public."