Pork farmers agree to voluntary compliance initiative to prevent water pollution
Certified independent inspectors will assess pork farming operations for violations under a new voluntarily compliance programme launched on November 25.
The US EPA and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) programme, part of the US government’s Clean Water Action Plan, is intended to reduce environmental and public health threats to US waterways from runoff of animal wastes from pork-producing operations.
Under the initiative, participating producers who disclose and correct any discovered violations from these audits will receive a much smaller civil penalty than they might otherwise be liable for under the law.
The Clean Water Action Plan, the Clinton Administration’s blueprint for completing clean-ups of US waterways, has identified polluted runoff from industrial feeding operations as a leading source of water pollution.
In conjunction with the Clean Water Action Plan, the EPA and the US Department of Agriculture announced a joint animal feeding operations draft strategy to control agricultural animal waste runoff.
The compliance audit program provides an incentive for pork producers to find and correct Clean Water Act violations and prevent discharges to waterways without compromising the ability of EPA or states to enforce the law. Pork producers who undergo the assessment and promptly report and correct violations will receive seals from the NPPC.
The NPPC plans assessments for more than 10,000 pork production facilities. NPPC developed the assessment program at a cost of $1.5 million, and will fund the training of independent inspectors and the program’s oversight. EPA has provided a $5 million grant to America’s Clean Water Foundation to assist with the assessments.
Additional information about the compliance audit program is linked below