Minnesota pork producers watch the action in Iowa and remember their legislative session three years ago, when political leaders chose to enforce industrial hydrogen sulfide limitations. “Our hydrogen sulfide law has been on the books for a long time,” notes Dave Preisler, Minnesota Pork Producers Association executive director. While Iowa struggles with more county control of confinement sites, Minnesota producers live with county manure application regulations and even township setback distances, he adds.
State finances dictate much of the legislative session in Jefferson City, MO, according to Don Nikodim, Missouri Pork Producer Association executive director. “There's really nothing new for Missouri right now because the legislators are working on the budget,” he says. “I don't anticipate anything new this session.” Like their counterparts in other states, Nikodim says Missouri pork producers are awaiting the federal AFO/CAFO animal effluent guidelines due to be released by the Environmental Protection Agency in December.
The California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) intervened on behalf of farmers in a judicial review in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco last April. CFBF supports a federal decision to allow more time for air emission research before the state imposes regulations.
“EPA recommended the deferral of regulatory action on agriculture until ongoing and planned studies are completed that could provide a more accurate overview of agricultural emissions,” explains Cynthia Cory, CFBF director of environmental affairs. Cory said several studies are underway to develop the data on agricultural air emissions, including work by the National Academy of Sciences. “We're not sitting back in the meantime,” she assures. “Farmers are adopting voluntary emission control strategies, where possible, to reduce emissions.”