Thursday, January 29, 2015

Advocacy groups sue EPA to try to force action on pollution from industrial livestock farms

Eight advocacy groups on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency "to try to force federal action on air pollution from industrial livestock farms," Bruce Henderson reports for the Charlotte Observer. "The lawsuits say the chemicals wafting from farms that raise thousands of chickens, hogs and other animals hurt human health and cause environmental problems."

The groups—The Humane Society of the United States, Center for Food Safety, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Clean Wisconsin, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the Association of Irritated Residents—"say the estimated 20,000 industrial farms produce more than 500 million tons of manure a year, three times the amount of human waste," Henderson writes. "The farms typically store the manure in open pits and spray liquid waste to irrigate farm fields."

The lawsuits "ask the court to force EPA to rule on two petitions that advocates filed in 2009 and 2011," Henderson writes. "Experts say the farms release large amounts of ammonia, an irritating gas, methane, a greenhouse gas, and hydrogen sulfide, known for its rotten-egg stink. They have linked those emissions to health problems including burning eyes, breathing problems, headaches, anxiety and blood pressure spikes." (Read more)

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