Environmentalists are accusing the Bush Administration of cow-towing to the meat industry over regulations for large-scale livestock operations. Tarah Heinzen of the Iowa Sierra Club says any livestock operation that volunteers for the Environmental Protection Commission’s proposed “monitoring study” will become exempt from prosecution, even if they’re violating clean air and clean water rules. Heinzen calls it a “backroom deal” between the Bush Administration and large livestock operations like Smithfield Farms. She says no company should be exempt from the pollution laws that’re on the books. Heinzen says “polluting facilities” will become exempt from Clean Air Act standards. A report in the Chicago Tribune found lobbyists for the meat industry wrote many of the rules proposed by administrators in the Environmental Protection Commission. But a spokeswoman for the National Pork Producers Council says the story contained many inaccuracies. The N-P-P-C’s Kara Flynn says her group suggested livestock operators participate in the testing because there’s not enough scientific data to establish air quality rules for livestock operations. And she says all those who participate in the study agree to comply with the law.
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