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Natural Awakenings

Factory Farms: Government Study Questions Pending EPA Rules

Nov 30, 2008 09:12PM

A new study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms the dangerous levels of airborne and waterborne pollutants emanating from factory farms, known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Researchers found that some of these operations annually produce more raw waste than is generated by residents of major U.S. cities.

Compounding the problem, the number of CAFOs has multiplied over the past 20 years, from 3,600 in 1982 to nearly 12,000 by 2002. The number of animals raised on large farms simultaneously climbed from 257 million to 890 million.

Twenty-seven other studies directly or indirectly link pollution from CAFOs with impacts on public health or the environment, especially in communities near these facilities. The GAO study questions the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to exempt CAFOs from reporting certain toxic gas emissions above 100 pounds a day.


Source: News from Congress media release

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