Concerns Raised Over EPA’s Proposed Wastewater Regulation

Dan Beef, Cattle, Environment, Livestock, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), Pork, Poultry, USDA-EPA, Water


Many in the livestock industry are very concerned about a proposed wastewater regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning wastewater from meat and poultry processing facilities. It is expected to require meatpackers and processors to install millions of dollars of upgrades to their wastewater management systems.

So, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Chief Legal Strategist, Michael Formica, along with representatives from the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association and the North American Meat Institute recently met with White House Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) officials to discuss their concerns about the forthcoming EPA proposed rule. The OIRA review is the final steps in the federal regulatory review process prior to approval for a federal agency to release a regulation.


The costs from EPA’s proposed regulation would be burdensome for small- and medium-sized operations, thus potentially jeopardizing their existence. And larger operations may be forced to slow production while upgrades are implemented. EPA has been under pressure from activists to revise its permit terms for meat and poultry processing, and following a lawsuit from activists, is under a court order to propose new rules before the end of the year.

During the meeting, NPPC addressed the impact that the proposed rule would have on pork producers who are already struggling through the worst economic crisis in a generation and can’t afford the potential loss of further markets that might occur under the proposed rule. NPPC also pointed out how the impact on small and medium sized processors run contrary to the Biden administration’s efforts to foster growth within the meat and poultry processing sector.