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Inside The Beltway -- October '98
Ag policy update from the Midwest Sustainable
Agriculture Working Group.
Jump down menu:
Ag Appropriations Bail Out
EPA-USDA AFO Strategy
CFO Too Little, Too Late
Whole Farm Revenue Insurance Pilot
Small Farms Commission
Rural Coop Grant Awards
EQIP Whos Listening?
NY Conservation Reserve Enhancement
CRP Sign-up & EBI Exchange
Food Quality Protection Act implementation
Moving and Shaking
Previous editions of Inside the Beltway
the Beltway is Sustainable Farming Connection's online version of the Midwest
Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's Washington Report. We reproduce
it with MSAWG's permission. Do not reproduce or post to any electronic network
without specific permission. Contact Brad DeVries
email@example.com for more information.
Ag Appropriations Bail Out
As we go to press, the agricultural appropriations bill that passed the
House and Senate smacked straight into a White House veto. The Administration
had promised a veto in light of what it considers deficiencies not in the
normal appropriations bill for annually funded programs (see below) but in the
hastily designed emergency farm aid spending plan that Congress attached to the
regular bill. As we hear it today, a negotiated version of the vetoed bill
will become a part of a brokered deal in the continuing resolution. The
emergency spending does not require any offsetting savings from other programs.
The bill includes a $4 billion farm aid plan designed by Republicans,
which in addition to disaster aid includes an extra $1.65 billion in extra
Freedom to Farm payments. For kicks, it also includes $50 million for Alaskan
fishermen which couldnt possibly have anything to do with Tyson Foods
huge investment in the Alaska salmon fleet suffering from low prices and
overfishing. The opposing $7 billion Democratic plan crafted by Senators
Daschle and Harkin calls for disaster aid plus language removing the cap on
marketing loan levels, allowing loan rates to increase to 85% of their prior
five year average. This plan is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office
to cost about $5 billion. The disaster aid portions of the competing plans are
similar, though not identical.
Rumor out of the post-veto negotiations at the Capitol has the
Democrats weighing in with an offer to drop the marketing loan issue and
substitute $5 billion in payments (on top of existing AMTA/F2F bucks) based on
current production history rather than past history as in F2F. They have also
sweetened the disaster portion to $2.5 billion. The GOP response is to raise
the already-increased F2F payments slightly and take on the $3 billion farmer
tax cut package from the bigger House tax package that sputtered to a halt
earlier this week. Want the latest? So do we, but this is what we know so
far. Keep an eye on your local daily news.
Now for some editorial comment. Both plans would provide windfall
payments to the largest program farms in the country and encourage further
consolidation during this farm crisis. Both would also likely have the effect
of encouraging further overproduction of primary commodities already in
substantial oversupply. Neither would address the fundamental issue of the
lack of production adjustment mechanisms nor the underlying issue of a lack of
crop diversity. And neither would encourage conservation or enhancement of the
long term productivity of the resource base. Nonetheless, with this being an
election year and the farm economy in very dire straits, the competing plans
do battle in an attempt to throw money at the problem and score election night
We have circulated a plan to USDA and the Hill calling for a modest
portion of this emergency spending to be spent on a conservation/production
adjustment package that would get money out to the countryside through
environmental enhancement projects that would also help control supply.
Included were increased incentives and upfront payments for the buffer
initiative and a restoration of the cuts made in the regular bill to the
Conservation Farm Option and the Wetlands Reserve Program, plus supplemental
spending for EQIP focused on integrated crop management. We also backed
partial funding for the Fund for Rural America, directed at long term solutions
to farm income problems. These proposals were welcomed in some quarters on
the Hill and at USDA, but were never seriously considered by the key
competitors in emergency spending bazaar.
Not only did the appropriations bill prove to be the train that carried the
emergency aid package, but it also picked up quite a few legislative "riders"
as well. In any given year, there will always be a few legislative sprigs
grafted on to a spending bill, but this year the appropriators planted a few
whole new trees.
Unfortunately, conferees stripped out an important provision added on
the Senate floor -- mandatory price reporting on cattle sales. The conferees,
on a close vote, sided with the American Meat Institute, National Food
Processors Association, Food Marketing Institute and other industry groups to
delete the mandatory reporting requirement sponsored by Senator Tim Johnson
(SD) in favor of weak language encouraging USDA to encourage the industry to
increase voluntary reporting. The conference report also requires USDA to
report to Congress next year on the feasibility or need for mandatory
We were successful on another of our action items for conference --
the conferees did delete the virtual elimination of the family farm
requirement for FSA farm loans that had been added on the Senate floor by
Senators Coverdell and Cleland (GA). However, this MSAWG victory came at a
cruel price. In return for striking one bad provision, they added another,
this one at the behest of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Ag
Appropriations Chair Thad Cochran (MS) -- the loan limitation for federally
guaranteed ownership and operating loans will be raised to a combined $700,000
(from currently separate $300,000 and $400,000 limits, respectively), with the
new limit indexed to future inflation. This achieves another major goal of
many ag lenders including the Farm Credit System -- the ability to serve some
of their larger, existing customers while reducing their risk courtesy of the
taxpayer. As we go to press, they are also trying to repeal a 1992 reform
limiting borrowers to 15 years of guaranteed operating loans. It is not clear
yet whether they will be successful in adding this to the Continuing
Even if they win on only one out of three, we can expect to see a much
greater percentage of subsidies for guaranteed loans going to large farms in
close to $700,000 chunks of annual operating loans, with fewer total customers
and fewer small and beginning farmers being served as a result. This will make
the job of monitoring state-by-state implementation of the family farm
requirement more important than ever.
There were about a half dozen other credit changes made, making this
section of the appropriations bill almost as long as the farm bill credit
title! The issue that opened up this entire mess was, of course, the effort by
Secretary Glickman to change the 1996 farm bill to allow farmers who had
previously gone through debt restructuring to have another opportunity to
receive FSA farm loans. The USDA-preferred language sponsored by Senator Robb
and included in the Senate bill was not accepted. The conferees instead went
with House-backed language which provided the second chance only for guaranteed
loans and emergency loans, not for direct loans. As such, it will be useful to
far fewer farmers. Interestingly, the language is far more liberal (but just
for guaranteed borrowers) in one respect than the Robb language -- it provides
access to future loans even if you have done debt restructuring up to three
times. We're waiting to find out who's constituent problem this was written to
Some good news on the Wetlands Reserve Program. Senate language
championed by Senator Kohl (WI) will remove a problem created by the 1996 farm
bill's requirement that one-third of WRP be for 10-year cost share aid, a
provision that has gone virtually unused while high demand continues for long
term and permanent easements. USDA is now instructed to fund in proportion to
As we reported earlier, the Senate bill undid, for one year, a
provision of the Ag Research bill passed early this year with respect to crop
insurance. The provision would have forced the largest farms by income to pay
slightly higher premium prices for catastrophic coverage, putting just a bit of
progressivity into the crop insurance subsidy system. After intense lobbying
efforts from California, the Senate put this provision on hold for a year. The
conferees did them one better -- it made the repeal permanent.
Speaking of California, the conferees also added a provision not found
in either bill to delay the phase out of methyl bromide from the year 2001
until the year 2005. The federal Clean Air Act requires the end of methyl
bromide production, a soil and storage fumigant thats particularly hard
on the ozone layer, by January 1, 2001. Some of the pesticides biggest
backers are California growers and congressional representatives (including the
provisions author, Rep. Vic Fazio). Who needs crop rotations (which have
proven effective in knocking out the nematodes that are the prime target of
methyl bromide), when youve got a member of the appropriations committee?
One more detour before getting to regular old annual funding for
discretionary programs. Under budget pressure from the balanced budget act --
pressure that will intensify greatly next year and thereafter -- and in need of
finding money for increases for food safety, ARS, the Food and Drug
Administration and other items, the conference committee went on a feeding
frenzy of gobbling up so-called mandatory spending items. These items, like
the legislative items in above, are under the jurisdiction of the Agriculture
Committees, not the Appropriations Committees. But, with the Ag Committees
playing dead and focused primarily on the emergency aid package, the aggies
hit the canvas like a glass-jawed welterweight deep in hock to his bookie.
Here's the tally:
- Fund for Rural America -- $60 million -- wiped out entirely
- Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems -- $120 million --
wiped out entirely
- Conservation Farm Option -- $25 million -- wiped out entirely
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program -- $200 million -- scaled back to
- Wetlands Reserve Program -- $124 million -- scaled back to $90 million
- Conservation Reserve Program -- no cut
- Freedom to Farm (AMTA) -- no cut
We added the last two just to be humorous. Of course, cutting CRP and F2F,
the other two mandatory funding programs, was never even considered. So the
final tally of the Agriculture Committee's donation was $265 million -- not a
bad chunk of change! Prospect for next year -- they will need all of this and
much more, unless the balanced budget act is re-opened.
Interesting footnote #1: Research and extension formula funds increase
by just under 7% ($24 million), the National Research Initiative went up 20%
($22 million) and ARS research got a 5% bump ($38 million), though its building
account shrank by $25 million. Grand total a $60 million increase or one full
year worth of the Fund for Rural America.
Interesting footnote #2:
While this hemorrhaging was taking place in Ag, the VA-HUD appropriations bill
that also funds the EPA includes the Administration's request for a
multi-million dollar increase in Section 319/Clean Water Act grants, portions
of which are used in ways similar to EQIP etc. Conversations are going on at
USDA in the context of FY 00 budget development about recommending some EPA
funds being used in EQIP through a section of the Clean Water Act that has
never been implemented.
So, now for the boring old story about discretionary programs which is all
approps bills are supposed to cover, right? By and large its a short
story -- almost every one of our programs was level funded. However, there are
some exceptions to report on.
We won on farm credit funding. The additional money in the Senate
bill for direct farm ownership loans for which we were the primary prod was
retained -- $85 million. On direct operating loans, the conferees went with
the House level of $500 million rather than the Senate's $560 million, but the
emergency aid package includes an addition $233 million, for a total of $733
million, plus more for guaranteed operating loans.
They struck a compromise on the Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
Rather than the Senate's $15 million and broad administration discretion to
spend the money or the House's $12 million with discretion to spend the money
if it is not needed to maintain the current WIC caseload, the conference went
with $10 million to be spent on the FMNP immediately, plus $5 million more
conditioned on the determination that caseload can be maintained.
The picture, as always, is fuzzy on the national organic program.
Previous annual funding was $500,000, but another $350,000 or so was
reprogrammed this past year, for a total of $850K. The House bill included a
$505,000 increase to just over a million dollars, as per the USDA request, but
the Senate bill failed to provide for any increase. One version of what
happened in conference is that the conferees accepted a Senate proposal to add
$433,000 for a variety of AMS programs, of which the NOP would be one of the
contenders. Another version says, no, the full $505,000 increase was approved.
In any event, the Department would be free to recommend a reprogramming of
dollars from elsewhere in the AMS budget, as it did last year. Confused yet?
We sure are, but then again its like this every year trying to ferret out just
what happened on the NOP. Its a very organic process, you see.
Finally, we suffered a real loss on the Rural Business Enterprise
Grant (RBEG) program. Under the conference agreement, funding will decline
from $40 million this past year to just $33.2 million in 1999. Elsewhere in
rural development, ATTRA retained its $1.3 million and the Rural Coop
Development Grant program got an increase from $1.7 million to $2 million.
However, almost all of the increase is earmarked for a project at Mississippi
State and will thus not be available for competitive awards.
That's it. Any MSAWG priority program not mentioned was level
EPA-USDA AFO Strategy
After years of doing Alphonse and Gaston on CAFOs (EPA: We arent
in charge of agriculture; go ask USDA. USDA: Were not a
regulatory agency like that nasty old EPA. Go talk to them.), the two
finally issued their Draft Unified National Strategy For Animal Feeding
Operations. Im pulling for the acronym DUNS (pronounce the last letter
like z) to catch on anytime now.
This Draft Strategy is the overall blueprint for dealing with surface
water pollution from all animal feeding operations, including large-scale,
confined animal factory farms with more than 1000 animal units. Both USDA and
EPA acknowledge in the Draft Strategy that factory farm operations are a source
of significant surface and ground water pollution problems and risks. The
Strategy also estimates that currently about 10,000 of these large-scale,
factory farms are operating, the vast majority of them without permits required
under the Clean Water Act. Sorry bout that. Many animal feeding
operations are conducted under unacceptable conditions or pose unacceptable
risks to the environment and health of rural communities and to the water
resources upon which both rural and urban communities depend.
The USDA and EPA will be holding regional "listening sessions"
on the Draft Strategy around the country. The time and place for these
sessions has not been finalized but they will probably start in mid-November; well
get a list out to MSAWG members as soon as its available.
We here at SAC have done a initial review of the Draft Strategy and find a
number of serious flaws with the proposal (try to hide your amazement),
including the following preliminary list:
- No consideration of sustainable alternatives to factory farms: The USDA &
EPA stubbornly assume that factory farms are both inevitable and potentially
sustainable, and ignore existing, sustainable farming systems that are in daily
use by family-farm livestock operations.
- Rubber-stamping General or Watershed permits, instead of individual Clean
Water Act permits.
- Woefully inadequate standards for land application of manure, and little
detail as to the content of required Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans
(CMNP) for factory farms with permits.
- Once again, the integrators get off the hook in the proposal, the entire
financial burden for dealing with factory farm pollution in the integrated
systems falls on contract farmers and the taxpayers. No thanks, chumbo.
The Sustainable Agriculture Coalition prepared an action alert on the Draft
Strategy that went out through the National Campaigns alert network. We
are preparing talking points for comments on the Draft Strategy and background
information Fact Sheets (ready by November 1) for distribution to Campaign
members. Well keep you posted.
CFO Too Little, Too Late
You could say that we viewed more with sadness than anger the bureaucratic
fumbling that doomed the Conservation Farm Option (CFO). But youd be
very wrong, judging from the furious National Campaign letter that Ferd drafted
(and that was signed by Tim Bowser, Loni Kemp, Duane Hovorka, Debbie Neustadt,
Kris Thorp and Ferd for the Campaign and MSAWG) for Sec. Glickman. The NRCS
messed up big time, and we want them to know about it.
The indictment calls on the secretary to immediately rescind the final
rule on CFO (which appeared in the Federal Register Sept. 29) and begins with
a review of the lowlights of CFO implementation to date that wound
up with the department completing a deeply flawed final rule. This process
squandered two and a half years and $47.5 million in mandatory CFO funding,
dropped a draft rule AND request for proposals on farmers right in the middle
of spring planting season, provided essentially no guidance to folks preparing
proposals, and completely exhausted what little patience the appropriators had
with the program.
On top of all that, the final rule makes a number of radical changes
to the program for the worse that contradict the statute, legislative
history, and basic common sense. At almost every turn, the final rule is less
flexible, less workable, and more like a mini-EQIP than the
far-from-ideal draft rule. Contact us if youd like a copy of our letter;
a parental advisory is in order for pure, righteous fury.
Whole Farm Revenue Insurance Pilot
On September 15, the Board of Directors of the Federal Crop Insurance
Corporation approved plans to proceed in the coming crop year with whole farm
revenue insurance pilot projects in Florida, Michigan, and New England. The
pilot will proceed under the official name Adjusted Gross Revenue
insurance, which just might be enough to throw those members of the
Congressional Black Helicopter Caucus who think Whole Farm Plans
come out of the Whole Earth Catalog and are a plot by the Whole
Earth United Nations.
Farmers in pilot project counties in
these areas will be able to take out insurance policies on their entire
production, insuring against crop loss and price decline on diversified
production. In Michigan, the only Midwest state in the pilot, the program
includes the following counties: Allegan, Barry, Kent, Ottawa, and Van Buren.
The focus of these initial pilots are on diversified fruit and
vegetable operations, and includes a limited amount of livestock in addition to
crops (an MSAWG victory!). The pilot itself is an important, first-step
victory for MSAWG and our year-plus effort to get a whole farm insurance system
off the ground. Secretary Glickman noted in the Departments release that
This innovative pilot program ends crop-by-crop insurance and covers the
whole farm, no matter if you grow corn or cranberries, soybeans or celery.
This program simply guarantees a percentage of gross farm revenue. If this
experiment succeeds, we will be closer to the day when we can cover all crops.
Small Farms Office
The Commissioneers have returned to Washington just as we go to press.
Future issues of this Report as well as Making Hay will provide some analysis
of what happened and where USDA is at on individual recommendations. However,
we can announce that USDA has decided to transform the existing one person
Office for Sustainable Development (within the Office of the Chief Economist)
into at least a three person Office for Small Farms and Sustainable
Adela Backiel, the current Director for Sustainable Development will
become the Director for Small Farms and Sustainable Development and USDA will
be hiring two Deputy Directors, one for small farms and one for sustainable.
Additional staff might be added if and when funding can be found. Parallel to
the existing interagency Sustainable Development Council (which grew out of the
USDA Sustainable Agriculture Working Group we pushed for), there will now be an
interagency Small Farms Council, taking over from the Small Farm Action Team
and carrying over many of the same agency representatives.
also heard consideration is being given to putting in place a small farm review
of each and every USDA regulation while they are going through internal
sign-off. If this is confirmed, it would give the new office some real clout.
Much as MSAWG went through a process of prioritizing recommendations
from A Time to Act to inform our lobbying efforts on implementation,
the Commissioners are working through the same process this week. For those
who haven't seen the results, the MSAWG process culled out the following
priorities (recommendation numbers from the report in parentheses).
- Program Bias (1.32, 6.12)
- Crop and Revenue Insurance Reform (6.11, 4.12, 4.13)
- Research and Extension Reform (1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 1.11, 6.1)
- Local/Regional Food Systems (6.4, 3.26)
- Value Added Initiative (3.16, 1.10)
- Beginning Farmer Package (5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.8)
- Fair and Open Markets (3.3, 3.10. 3.11, 3.13)
- Civil Rights and Farmworker Initiative (1.23, 8.1)
At the close of the meeting, the Commission presented USDA with a
resolution calling for administrative action in certain areas. They asked for
more aggressive assertion of authority under Packers and Stockyards and other
laws to counter anti-competitive behavior, including a special call for a final
decision on the WORC captive supply provision by the end of this month.
also called on USDA to:
- Ccommit half of the $22 million increase for the National Research
Initiative for integrated production systems to strengthen small farm
- Implement the Beginning Farmer initiative and appoint the Beginning Farmer
- Supply the Commission with the steps and timetable the Department will
take to implement a minority farmer registry.
The Commission will meet again to review USDA progress sometime in the
Rural Coop Grant Awards
On September 22, USDA announced the 1998 recipients of Rural Coop
Development Grants, a program MSAWG advocates funding for each year. The total
appropriation of $1.7 million was divided among 13 grantees to help finance
feasibility studies, business plans, market analysis and product development
for new coops.
Grant recipients included Winrock International,
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Coop Development Services Fund (WI), Coop
Development Institute (MA), Intertribal Agriculture Council, Nebraska Community
Foundation, and Kansas State, Ohio State, Central Michigan, and University of
The pending FY 99 appropriations bill would again fund
the program for $1.7 million next year. For more information, contact USDA at
202-720-7558 or the National Coop Business Association at 202-638-6222.
EQIP Whos Listening?
With little fanfare and a very short notice period, the USDAs Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has scheduled a series of Roundtables
around the country to provide the public with an opportunity to share successes
and opinions about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The
national NRCS office intends to review information presented at the Roundtables
and consider whether improvements can be made to EQIP.
Thanks to the efforts of Kris Thorp of the Center for Rural Affairs in
sending out the word to MSAWG members and those included in the State
Technical Committee Network, some people may actually be able to attend these
Roundtables. The general agenda for the Roundtables includes: a national
overview of EQIP presented by an NRCS National Office representative; a State
overview of EQIP presented by the host States NRCS State Conservationist;
remarks about EQIP presented by the host States Farm Service Agency
Executive Director; and a listening forum at which members of the public can
testify about EQIP.
Upcoming Midwest EQIP sessions include:
- Northern Plains NRCS Region: Oct. 8, 1998: Kearney NE (10AM at the Ramada
Inn, I-80 exit #272).
- Midwest NRCS Region: Oct. 16: Columbia MO (9AM at the Holiday Inn Select).
Regional Conservationist offices will also be accepting written comments on
EQIP from the public until October 16, 1998. Contact us for more information.
NY Conservation Reserve Enhancement
USDA has announced a joint USDA-New York City (New York State) Conservation
Reserve Enhancement Program initiative, intended to protect New York City
drinking water reservoirs in the Catskill/Delaware watershed. The Program
provides for the enrollment of 3,000 acres of highly erodible cropland in
continuous sign-up CRP and the establishment of 2,000 acres of forest buffers
protecting 165 miles of streams in the watershed.
USDA will pay 70
percent of the $10.4 million costs of the initiative in 15-year CRP contracts
and extra incentive payments. New York City will pay the remaining 30 percent
of the costs in the form of cost-share agreements for planting protective
vegetation and by providing technical, educational, and engineering support.
The CREP initiative is one of a number of projects intended to
protect New York City's drinking water and enable the City to avoid
construction of a $6-8 billion water filtration plant, which would cost an
estimated $1million a day to operate. Enrollment for the CREP began on a
continuous basis September 1, 1998. For more information on the New York CREP,
look up the Q & A document at
CRP Sign-up & EBI Exchange
Makes you wonder if there will be any of North Dakota left to farm after
next year. The USDA has announced that the 18th sign-up period for the
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will be held during a 7- week period from
Monday, October 26, 1998 through Friday, December 11, 1998. Contracts awarded
in this go-round will become effective on October 1, 1999.
CRP enrollment is capped by law at 36.4 million acres, with 30.5
million acres currently under contract. USDA estimates that just over 3.5
million acres is currently under CRP contracts that will expire on September
30, 1999. The Environmental Benefits Index scoring (which is used in ranking
proposals) for the 18th sign-up is very similar to the Index for the 16th
sign-up. Contract size has been eliminated as a subfactor of the wildlife
component and points have been added for wildlife food plots and wetland
Unfortunately, the much-ballyhooed Buffer Initiative and other partial
field enrollment options still have fewer than 700,000 acres of these high
priority enrollments completed so far. Were quite concerned that the
farm crisis and the collapse of wheat prices will push USDA to reduce
environmental standards and make the 18th sign-up as large as possible, leaving
even fewer acres under the cap for future partial field enrollments.
Food Quality Protection Act implementation
A new phase of Food Quality Protection Act implementation began in
September as another came to at least a partial conclusion. The first of ten
notice and comment opportunities on key EPA science policy issues pertinent to
FQPA closed on September 8. Over the next year, EPA will publish and accept
comment on its operating guidance for the remaining nine issues.
Download the EPAs guidance and directions for commenting at the
homepage of the Office of Pesticide Policy at
under the FQPA icon. The Wallace Institute will submit detailed comments for
each science policy issue and will make these available as far in advance of
the deadlines as possible at http://www.hawiaa.org.
The notice and comment process generally will favor pesticide proponents:
these are highly technical subjects with short (60 day) response times, many of
which will overlap. It will be important to balance industrys input with
well informed comments endorsing a strong human health based standard.
Contact Mark Keating at (202) 544-0705 if you want to get more involved.
As the notice and comment season begins, the Tolerance Reassessment
Advisory Committee (TRAC) is winding down. The TRAC held what was scheduled to
be its last meeting on September 15-16 in DC. However, pesticide supporters
pushed hard again and won an extension of its work, for two meetings in early
1999. The TRAC has always been more about airing grievances than achieving
consensus and it appears that pesticide advocates like having a public forum to
challenge EPA. The environmental and consumer advocates on TRAC stated that
they want to see more action from EPA before agreeing to more meetings.
For an important contribution to the FQPA implementation debate, look
at the report Worst First: High-Risk Insecticide Uses, Childrens
Foods and Safer Alternatives from Consumers Union. You can download this
document at http://www.ecologic-ipm.com/menu.html
Moving and Shaking
- The National Catholic Rural Life Conferences Justice for the
Jubilee national conference will bring together rural advocates from
around the country November 13-14, to the Hotel Fort Des Moines. Marty
Strange, John Kinsman, Bishop Raymond Burke, Stephen Bede Scharper will be
there, as will the Buschkoetter family from THE FARMERS WIFE. Call NCRLC
at 515-270-2634 for more information.
- The USDA has scheduled a series of listening sessions (with all this
listening, do you ever wonder if theres any actual hearing?) on Hazard
Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) implementation for small meat
processing plants. Small plants must implement HACCP plans by January 25,
1999, and very small plants by January 25, 2000. This is a key issue for small
meat processing facilities and the direct marketing plans for small producers
that depend on them. Midwest sessions include: Chicago, IL (10/3), Columbus,
OH (10/3), Kansas City, MO (10/17), Des Moines, IA (10/24), Madison, WI (11/7),
St. Paul, MN (11/21). We faxed the full notice to SAC member groups,
coordinating council members, and to the MSAWG marketing committee chairs;
contact us if you would like to see the listing or need more information.
- On July 7, EPA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that
outlines the agency's plans for revising the overall rules for how water
quality standards work - everything from State beneficial use designations to
mixing zones to antidegradation. You can access the proposed rulemaking on the
Written comments on this Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are due before
midnight January 4, 1999.
EPA will be holding its Midwest public meeting on this Proposed
Rulemaking in Chicago on October 20-21. Information on the meeting and hotel
reservations, the preliminary agenda, and a registration form for this meeting
are available at http://www.epa.gov/OST/announce/chia.html.
Registration is free and will close soon. If you cannot access the
information on the Web contact Martha Noble at 202-547-5754 for information.
Clean Water Network activists or those would like to become active
may be able to get travel assistance for the meeting from the Network's State
Assistance Fund. Contact Kathy Nemsick of the Clean Water Network at
202-289-2395 for information.
Previous editions of Inside the Beltway
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