Regulations Would Revise Standards for Meat Processors

Will Jordan General

Half cow pieces hung fresh and arranged in a row in a large refrigerator in the refrigerator meat industry. Cattle’s cut and hanged on hooks in a slaughterhouse.
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The American Sheep Industry Association reports that regulations would revise standards for meat processors.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed regulation that would revise wastewater discharge standards for facilities that process meat and poultry products. Many of these facilities are located near communities with environmental justice concerns that have bodies of water impaired by nutrient pollution.

The agency’s proposal would leverage the latest pollution control technologies to cut the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other pollutants discharged to the nation’s waters by approximately 100 million pounds of pollutants per year, improving water quality for downstream communities and ecosystems.

The Clean Water Act requires EPA to revise industry-wide wastewater treatment limits – called effluent limitation guidelines – to keep pace with innovations in pollution control technology. The first ELGs for facilities that process meat and poultry products were issued in 1974 and the last revision was in 2004. ELGs are based on the performance of demonstrated wastewater treatment technologies, and they are intended to represent the greatest pollutant reductions that are economically achievable for an entire industry.

As EPA announced in its September 2021 Preliminary Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15, the agency completed a detailed study of facilities that process meat and poultry products, leading to its decision to revise the existing effluent regulation for these facilities.

The agency’s proposal also seeks comment on more stringent ELGs for these facilities.