EPA is NOT regulating milk spills
You may recall the right-wing outrage a month ago stirred by a syndicated column The EPA Seeks To Expand Its Bureaucracy:
Despite the old saying, “Don’t cry over spilled milk,” the Environmental Protection Agency is doing just that.
We all understand why the EPA was given the power to issue regulations to guard against oil spills. But not everyone understands that any power given to any bureaucracy for any purpose can be stretched far beyond that purpose.
In a classic example of this process, the EPA has decided that, since milk contains oil, it has the authority to force farmers to comply with new regulations to file “emergency management” plans to show how they will cope with spilled milk, how farmers will train “first responders” and build “containment facilities” if there is a flood of spilled milk.
A couple days later a WSJ editorial called Land of Milk and Regulation further fed the wingnut hysteria.
These and derivative links were dutifully posted here by the Republican faithful, who took offense at the prevailing opinion that a WSJ editorial is not a reliable source.
Was it true? Of course not. The EPA plans to exempt milk producers from the spill prevention program and has for over 2 years.
January 15, 2009
SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is proposing to amend the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule to tailor and streamline the requirements for the dairy industry. Specifically, EPA proposes to exempt milk containers and associated piping and appurtenances from the SPCC requirements provided they are constructed according to the current applicable 3-A Sanitary Standards, and are subject to the current applicable Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) or a State dairy regulatory requirement equivalent to the current applicable PMO. This proposal addresses concerns raised specifically by the dairy sector on the applicability of the SPCC requirements to milk containers.
Here’s a novel idea: Don’t assume the low-quality journalism that fits your world view is correct. Ask!
The EPA chief said the misunderstanding on the milk rule is an example of the misinformation surrounding many of the agency’s actions. “Many of the things that EPA is accused of are in my mind attempts to misinform people about what is actually happening,” she said. “What is happening on the ground is that we’re not intending nor do I believe will ever regulate milk.”