Today's factory livestock operations generate huge amounts of hog, chicken and cattle waste. Most of these feedlot operations store and evaporate this waste in large open lagoons, some of it to eventually be used as fertilizer. However, these manure pits can leak if retaining walls fail or if flooding or overfilling occurs. Advocates warn of serious health problems resulting from pathogens invading our water supply, not to mention the damage to air quality, fisheries and ecosystems. According to the EPA, feedlot waste discharges have been blamed for polluting at least 35,000 miles of our nation's rivers and streams, as well as contaminating groundwater supplies in at least 16 states. The EPA believes there are more than 20,000 large feedlots now operating in our country – of which less than half have federal effluent discharge permits. It reports that 75% of these operations are allowing pollutants into our waterways. Critics say the EPA has failed to enforce the 1972 Clean Water Act’s requirements on large animal feedlots. They claim the implementation of these regulations has been severely handicapped by legal loopholes and agribusiness influence.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of House version of S.1407 - Concentrated Livestock Existing Alongside Nature Act (108th Congress 2003-2004)
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (TX)

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Poll Opening Date
May 22, 2023
Poll Closing Date
May 28, 2023

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