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December 12, 2008   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
December 12, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.,) warned Friday that a rule proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could impose heavy costs on farmers in Alabama.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, Bachus expressed his concern over the impact that a proposed regulation governing greenhouse gas emissions would have on small farming operations. Farms with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle, or 200 hogs would be subjected to a costly and burdensome mandate to reduce naturally occurring agricultural emissions under the Clean Air Act.

"Small farmers in my district have to work very hard to just make ends meet," said Bachus, who represents Alabama's 6th Congressional District. "They can't afford costly new regulations from Washington, especially during these challenging economic times. As I told the EPA, we have to be careful not to take any action that could further strain the financial well-being of the farming families that are the backbone of our rural communities here in Alabama."

"If the proposed rule were to go into effect, the consequences on Alabama farmers would be disastrous," Bachus wrote in his letter to the EPA. "Not only would these fees negatively impact small farmers throughout Alabama, this rule would result in higher costs for consumers around the country reliant on the products produced on Alabama farms."

The EPA rule would apply to all farming operations that produce more than 100 tons a year of naturally occurring agriculture emissions.

According to the Department of Agriculture, 99 percent of dairy production, more than 90 percent of beef production, and more than 95 percent of hog production would be forced to comply with an expensive permitting process.

The proposed rule has been put out for public comment. The agency has not set a date for finalizing the regulation.

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