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Comment Today to Protect Waterways from Factory Farming Waste
Much of the pollution in U.S. rivers and streams today comes from the manure generated by CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), which confine thousands of animals on a single site. To determine the extent of the problem and how it might be better addressed, the public and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) need to know more about these facilities and the waste they produce. But unlike many other industries, CAFOs do not regularly disclose facility-specific information to the EPA—and the powerful interests behind CAFOs want to keep it that way.
Under a recent settlement agreement, the EPA promised a regulation that would require CAFOs nationwide to report some basic facts, such as the location of the operation and number of animals housed. The EPA is now asking for public comments on a proposed rule to collect some of this data from the nation’s largest CAFOs. Having this information will vastly improve the agency’s ability to ensure that CAFOs comply with the Clean Water Act and do not contaminate our lakes and waterways.
Gathering this information is about simple transparency and protecting the environment, but industrial animal agriculture is fighting to keep CAFOs shrouded in secrecy. The industry is pressing the EPA to withdraw the proposal or limit its application. So please act now, and urge everyone you know to do the same.
Ask the EPA to finalize a rule that collects information from CAFOs across the country. We have only until Jan. 19 to get as many comments as possible.
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dr. Brian R. Shmaefsky
One year after the Flint Water Crisis I was invited to participate in a water rights session at a conference hosted by the US Human Rights Network in Austin, Texas in 2015. The reason I was at the conference was to promote efforts by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to encourage scientists to shine a light on how science intersects with human rights, in the U.S. as well as in the context of international development. My plan was to sit at an information booth and share my stories about water quality projects I spearheaded in communities in Bangladesh, Colombia, and the Philippines. I did not expect to be thrown into conversations that made me reexamine how scientists use their knowledge as a public good.
The shipping industry is coming to grips with its egregious carbon footprint, as it has an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and to the dumping of chemicals into open seas. Already, the global shipping industry contributes about 2 percent of global carbon emissions, about the same as Germany, as the BBC reported.
The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC overlooks the Tidal Basin, a man-made body of water surrounded by cherry trees. Visitors can stroll along the water's edge, gazing up at the stately monument.
But at high tide, people are forced off parts of the path. Twice a day, the Tidal Basin floods and water spills onto the walkway.