LANSING―The Michigan Senate today adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by Sen. Mike Nofs, that urges the Environmental Protection Agency to rescind a recent ruling that will create unnecessary regulatory burdens and additional costs for dairy farmers.
The agency has classified milk as an oil, making it subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act. As a result, small and large dairy farms would be required to develop and implement oil spill prevention plans for milk storage tanks, similar to those required for large petroleum storage tanks. Senate Resolution 158 urges the EPA to rescind those rules that would require dairy farms to have such plans.
“The recent EPA ruling is ridiculous, and is yet another example of unnecessary government regulation,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “Agriculture is a primary part of our state’s economy and these rules will needlessly cost our farmers time and money when they can least afford it. We in the state Senate stand together with Michigan dairy farmers and demand those in Washington, D.C. rescind this ill-conceived ruling.”
According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, dairy is the leading segment of Michigan’s agricultural industry, providing a $5.1 billion impact on the state’s economy.
During previous testimony before a Senate panel, dairy farmers indicated Michigan already has regulations in place for anyone who would directly discharge milk into the ground, rendering the EPA ruling unnecessary.