The Environmental Protection Agency has been called on by many citizen groups to hold harmful industrial dairy and hog farms accountable for their contributions to air pollution. These operations release more than 37 million tons of climate-warming gases into the atmosphere annually, which is equivalent to about 12% of all U.S emissions from industry in 2015 alone!
The petition was filed with EPA today calling on them to regulate these destructive industries that are threatening our environment as well as food security for rural communities.
Concerned citizens are petitioning for the EPA to reject a false solution of factory farm gas. Factory farming is dirty energy and will continue to negatively impact Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and white rural communities while continuing to harm our land air water supply. Oregon has long suffered from loose regulations due in large part to campaign contributions that tie their legislature closely with agricultural interests.
A bill that would have put a pause on new permits for mega-dairies in Oregon died last week after an industry-weighted hearing. This petition calls for immediate action from the EPA to protect public health, rural communities and our land by listing these operations under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. The facilities in question are major sources of the super pollutant methane, therefore endangering public health and welfare which now accounts for 33 percent of agricultural methane emissions, 13 percent of total U.S. methane emissions, and 1.3 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Industrial dairies polluting Oregon’s natural resources remain unregulated, according to Food & Water Watch Legal Director Tarah Heinzen. The Biden EPA has an obligation to curb the emissions of these mega-polluters and stop the false narrative of biogas as a renewable energy source. Mega-dairies like Threemile Canyon have falsely claimed manure digesters are sustainable farm practices but in reality, those powerful machines only capture a fraction of methane produced by factory farms and bind us to systems that support fossil fuels.
The EPA has been under scrutiny for not regulating an industry that is a major driver in climate change. The petition demands the EPA step up and address this problem, upholding President Trump’s commitment to following science instead of conjecture or corporate motivation. Sustainable agricultural practices can help stabilize our climate while also advancing environmental justice for rural communities struggling with poverty from industrial agriculture.