Long to Embark on 2nd Annual District Agriculture Tour08/22/12
SPRINGFIELD- U.S. Rep. Billy Long announced that he will embark on his 2nd annual district agriculture tour this week to meet with area farmers and the agriculture community.
The agriculture tour will take place on Friday, August 24, with stops in Carthage, Golden City, Neosho, Goodman, and Oronogo.
“Agriculture is an important industry in Missouri,” Long said. “I believe it is important to support the growth and development of Missouri’s agriculture industry, which will encourage economic growth in our state and nation.”
Long understands that farmers and ranchers are small businessmen and supports passage of a long-term farm bill that would provide certainty for the agriculture community. He signed a bipartisan letter urging House leaders to bring the House Agriculture Committee’s farm bill (H.R. 6083) to a vote before the August district work period. Long is frustrated the House has not debated H.R. 6083 and believes a long-term farm bill provides the House with an opportunity to re-work programs so they work better in today’s marketplace and do so in a fiscally accountable manner.
Long is the lead sponsor of the Superfund Common Sense Act (H.R. 2997), which would exempt livestock operations from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The bill would also exempt livestock operations from Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) reporting requirements. The CERCLA law created the Superfund as a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and provides broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances which may threaten public health or the environment. Long believes it does not make any sense to lump tens of thousands of farms and livestock producers under the same severe liability provisions that apply to the nearly 1,300 federal Superfund toxic waste sites. CERCLA should be used to deal with real toxic waste such as we faced at Times Beach in Missouri and Love Canal in New York, not livestock waste.
Livestock producers face increasing regulatory uncertainty, much of it stemming from potential or proposed EPA rules. Our nation’s livestock producers and our agricultural industry as a whole cannot afford to comply with unnecessary regulations. The CERCLA law was never meant to regulate livestock manure as a hazardous substance. This bill clarifies the reporting requirements under CERCLA and EPCRA. As organic producers are on the rise in Southwest Missouri and across the United States, farmers are relying on organic fertilizers more than ever for farming operations. Since enforcement of the Superfund Law uses a severe liability system, a farmer who applies manure to their field could be held liable for millions of dollars in damages.
Long will visit the following locations on his 2nd annual agriculture tour:
Friday, August 24
Andrew Farm and Seed Inc.
Maple Grove Farms, LLC
Neosho National Fish Hatchery
Missouri Walnut, LLC
Mark Larson Farms