Tuesday, February 07, 2006

IDEM Clarifies CAFO Regulation Remarks

Last Sunday I heard that the controversial remarks made by IDEM Commissioner Tom Easterly addressing the Indiana Pork Producers state convention would be retracted.

According to Brownfield AT News, "IDEM has been besieged with calls from livestock producers wanting more details." I would imagine they got pretty excited by his comments.

On Tuesday (today) IDEM released the fallowing statement in an effort to clarify the situation:
A quote attributed to me in a February 2, 2006, Brownfield Agriculture Today news article has caused a significant public stir about the agency and its oversight of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Please allow me to clarify the meaning of comments made during the Indiana Pork Producers annual meeting.

Because of proposed deadline extensions in the CAFO National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) rule currently being considered by the Water Pollution Control Board, IDEM will not be enforcing the original deadlines for existing farms to file storm water plans, soil conservation plans, nutrient management plans and NPDES applications. It would not make sense for IDEM compliance staff to cite farms for violating deadlines that may change. But we will continue to hold all farms accountable to protect waters of the state. No variance will be given to farms for violating water quality standards. And my staff and I will continue working to educate, guide, assist and oversee confined feeding operations, statewide. Link (Brownfields story)

Thanks to Kemplog for the heads up on this update.

And now my question is, what have they been doing lately to "oversee confined feeding operations statewide" ...maybe I'm wrong, or I haven't been looking in the right places, but from what I can discern, there haven't been many updates on the IDEM site regarding violations filed/acted on, nor reports of number of new CAFO permits issued/denied in recent months.

How have IDEM been using our tax dollars lately?

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