Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan discusses H.R. 5426, a bill she recently introduced that would direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to change its designation of milk as an environmental hazard. Under the Clean Water Act, the EPA instituted a program called the Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) program, which directs producers to have an oil spill prevention plan because under this rule milk is considered the same as oil. If dairy producers do not comply with the EPA rule then they will be subject to punitive damages.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"Hello, I’m Congresswoman Candice Miller and I represent the 10th District in the state of Michigan.
"Many of you may be unaware, but currently the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) considers milk and other dairy products a possible environmental hazard. That is why I recently introduced legislation because the EPA’s criterion, which considers milk to be like oil and requires dairy producers to have an oil spill prevention plan, is placing undue, over-burdensome regulatory requirements on our dairy producers and will cause a financial strain on a vital industry.
"My legislation will prohibit enforcement of the EPA’s regulations on dairy and dairy product producers, processors, handlers and distributers, and it would require the EPA to implement this exemption within 30 days of the legislation's enactment.
"Milk is a natural resource and directing the EPA to proceed with exempting our dairy producers is a common sense solution.
"We see on television every day the devastation being wrought in the Gulf of Mexico by the ongoing oil spill. It is simply ridiculous for the EPA to suggest that milk presents the same danger to our environment as oil.
"The EPA has an important job and it should properly place its focus where it belongs – on spilled oil, not spilled milk.
"I’m Congresswoman Candice Miller, thanks for listening."
The Ag Minute is Ranking Member Lucas's weekly radio address that is released each Tuesday from the House Agriculture Committee Republicans.