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Kentucky officials oppose EPA regulations on meat processing

Kentucky officials oppose EPA regulations on meat processing

By Blake Jackson

Kentucky's Agriculture Commissioner Jonathan Shell and Attorney General Russell Coleman are vehemently opposing a recent proposal from the Biden Administration, which targets the state's meat and poultry processing industry.

This initiative, announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), entails extensive requirements that would significantly impact family-run businesses in the sector. According to Shell and Coleman, the proposed regulations would impose substantial financial burdens on small-scale operations, potentially leading to the closure of numerous enterprises.

The EPA's proposal mandates the construction of large and costly water treatment plants, which could cost Kentucky entrepreneurs millions for installation and hundreds of thousands annually for maintenance and testing. This burdensome regulatory framework is deemed as overreach by the officials, posing a direct threat to rural Kentucky's economy.

Attorney General Coleman emphasizes the adverse effects on local producers who play a crucial role in providing safe food and employment opportunities in Kentucky communities. The potential closure of processing facilities due to these regulations would disrupt the farm-to-table supply chain, exacerbating the economic strain on farm families.

Agriculture Commissioner Shell underscores the significance of agriculture as a cornerstone of Kentucky's economy, with an industry worth $8 billion. He warns against the possibility of job losses and supply chain disruptions if even one processing facility were to close due to the EPA's rule. Both officials express their commitment to safeguarding farming communities and preserving Kentucky's agricultural heritage.

Moreover, the proposed regulation would nullify significant investments made in Kentucky's agriculture sector, posing a setback to rural economic development efforts. Despite the EPA's assertions, there are no known violations of the Agriculture Water Quality Act by meat or poultry processors in Kentucky since its enactment in 1994, as stated by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Attorney General Coleman has joined forces with a coalition of 27 state attorneys general to oppose the rule, emphasizing its detrimental impact on the industry. Agriculture Commissioner Shell has also submitted a comment letter to the EPA, vehemently opposing the proposed regulations. The collective stance of Kentucky's officials underscores their commitment to protecting the state's agricultural sector from unwarranted regulatory burdens.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-sstajic

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Categories: Kentucky, Livestock, Beef Cattle

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