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Republican AGs condemn EPA for regulation of liquid waste in meat processing

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A coalition of 27 Republican state attorney generals is against the expansion of a proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate liquid waste produced by meat and poultry processing plants in the United States to include indirect discharges.

The expansion of regulatory authority exceeds the EPA’s statutory authority under the Clean Water Act, according to the coalition, potentially leading to significant economic impacts on businesses and consumers, especially in rural America.

Of 5,055 meat processing facilities in the U.S., the EPA only regulates 171. The new proposed rule would expand regulations to 3,879 meat processing facilities across America.

“The Biden administration continues to try and find ways to expand its authority by sidestepping Congress and the American people. This latest attempt would cripple small meat and poultry processing plants, imposing heavy new regulatory costs and hurting rural America,” Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares.

The proposed rule comes as a response to a settlement agreement between the EPA and environmental groups, which raises serious concerns about due process and transparency in the regulatory process.

Virginia joined Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.