Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is working to increase the number of state inspected meat products allowed across state lines. Enzi is also cosponsoring a separate bill that would keep manure from being classified as a hazardous substance through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Enzi cosponsored S. 3519 the "Agricultural Small Business Opportunity and Enhancement Act" which would amend a past law to ensure that meat that has been state tested with the strictest federal standards could be sold across state lines.
"Wyoming meat inspection laws are up to speed with federal regulations but the way the law is written it prevents Wyoming producers from selling a specialized product across state lines. This legislation irons out the language and helps put small producers on equal footing," said Enzi.
The bill, S. 3519 has been referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Senator Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., is also a co-sponsor of the bill.
Enzi cosponsored S. 3681, the "Agriculture Protection and Prosperity Act of 2006" that would ensure manure is not considered to be a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability (CERCLA) Act of 1980. CERCLA, also known as Superfund was enacted to cleanup the worst industrial toxic waste sites and lawsuits are currently pending that argue manure is a toxic substance.
"This legislation affects any rancher with corrals or cattle holding facilities. If manure is designated as a toxic substance, ranchers could be open to additional liabilities, penalties and lawsuits. This bill tries to help ranchers avoid that. The laws currently in place outline reasonable ways to handle severe cases," said Enzi.
Water quality and manure control is regulated under the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act.
The bill, S. 3681 has been referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Senator Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., is also a co-sponsor of the bill.