EPA’s Crushing Regulatory Burdens Threaten Family Farms
Washington--In just the last three years, the Environmental Protection Agency has set in motion a significant number of new regulations that will significantly change the face of agriculture. The coming changes threaten the continued operation of family farms and ranches, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Testifying Thursday on behalf of AFBF before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade, Carl Shaffer, president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, said EPA proposals to exert greater regulatory control over agriculture will drive up the cost of producing food, fiber and fuel.
“EPA proposals are overwhelming to farmers and ranchers and are creating a cascade of costly requirements that are likely to drive individual farmers to the tipping point,” Shaffer said. “The overwhelming number of proposed regulations on the nation’s food system is unprecedented and promises profound effects on both the structure and competitiveness of all of agriculture.
“In contrast to EPA’s heavy-handed approach of issuing crushing regulatory burdens, agriculture and the Agriculture Department have worked together over the last few decades to make enormous strides in agriculture’s environmental performance by adopting a range of conservation practices and environmental measures,” Shaffer said.
Philip Nelson, president of Illinois Farm Bureau, also testified at the hearing on behalf of farmers and ranchers in his state. He testified to the subcommittee regarding a new regulation, the Pesticide General Permit, that went into effect Nov. 1. “This new permit is a needless duplication of existing law. We do not need this entirely new permit program,” Nelson said, noting that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act has covered pesticide labeling and application very effectively since 1947.