Monday, June 14, 2010

US cracks down on big ocean polluters

LANCASTER, Pa. — With simplicity as their credo, Amish farmers consume so little that some might consider them model environmental citizens.

“We are supposed to be stewards of the land,” said Matthew Stoltzfus, a 34-year-old dairy farmer and father of seven whose family, like many other Amish, shuns cars in favor of horse and buggy and lives without electricity. “It is our Christian duty.”

But farmers like Mr. Stoltzfus are facing growing scrutiny for agricultural practices that the federal government sees as environmentally destructive. Their cows generate heaps of manure that easily washes into streams and flows onward into the Chesapeake Bay.

And the Environmental Protection Agency, charged by President Obama with restoring the bay to health, is determined to crack down. The farmers have a choice: change the way they farm or face stiff penalties.

“There’s much, much work that needs to be done, and I don’t think the full community understands,” said David McGuigan, the E.P.A. official leading an effort by the agency to change farming practices here in Lancaster County.

     continue reading from the NYTimes…







Matthew Stoltzfus, left, on his farm in Lancaster, Pa., where a government program is working with Amish farmers to try to instill more environmentally sound methods for handling runoff.



Audio Slide Show: A Close-Knit Farming Community     


  1. I hope that the government will work REALLY hard to help the typical American farmer know they should not farm huge herds, and to not keep them in barns (instead of pasturing..). I hope the government will work really hard to teach farmers to not pollute the seed crops with gene manipulation and modification...etc... and then perhaps, the government can "learn from" the least try....Good Grief...!!!!

  2. EPA Classifies Milk as Oil - New Environmental Protection Agency regulations treat spilled milk like oil, requiring farmers to build extra storage tanks and form emergency spill plans. Local farming advocates says it’s ridiculous to regulate a liquid with a small percentage of butter fat the same way as the now-infamous BP oil spill. “It’s just another, unnecessary over-regulation by the government just lacking any common sense,” said Bill Robb, dairy educator for Michigan State University Extension... The EPA regulations state that “milk typically contains a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil. Thus, containers storing milk are subject to the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Program rule when they meet the applicability criteria..."Seriously, this is not from The Onion. Do note that the issue is not even regulation of milk spills it's regulation of milk under the oil spill prevention law.