EPA to Regulate Dairy Milk Spills as per Oil Spills Update: EPA Responds

posted at 12:15 pm on February 5, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

No, it’s not a headline from The Onion. It appears to be real. The Wall Street Journal editorial board provides the details:

Two weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule that subjects dairy producers to the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program, which was created in 1970 to prevent oil discharges in navigable waters or near shorelines. Naturally, it usually applies to oil and natural gas outfits. But the EPA has discovered that milk contains “a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil,” as the agency put it in the Federal Register.

In other words, the EPA thinks the next blowout may happen in rural Vermont or Wisconsin. Other dangerous pollution risks that somehow haven’t made it onto the EPA docket include leaks from maple sugar taps and the vapors at Badger State breweries.

Thank God the EPA has finally stepped in and realized the critical milk spill dangers which have been plaguing this nation since its inception. Fortunately for many of our younger readers, you don’t recall how it was in the bad old days before the EPA came into its full powers. Why, in our day, my own mother used to feed us hot dogs that were boiled in water rather than being cooked on an open flame. And – prepare yourselves – she would dump the hot dog water right down the sink.

I can only imagine the number of harmless carp in the Erie Canal and Hudson River who died at this woman’s hands.

The EPA clearly has far too much time on its hands. We’re looking to cut costs. This is a hint, Washington. You don’t need to get rid of the agency entirely, but a rapid, sharply focused review of the mission and the resource requirements should clearly be in order after this. I’m sure we can trim more than a bit of fat here.

UPDATE: Mathy Stanislaus, the Assistant Administrator of the EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, took exception with this article and submitted the following comments.

The February 5, 2011 blog, “EPA to Regulate Dairy Milk Spills as per Oil
Spills,” gives readers the impression that EPA intends to regulate all small dairy farms as part of its work to prevent oil spills. This is incorrect.

EPA has already proposed to exclude milk and milk product storage tanks from the spill prevention regulatory program. This common sense decision was announced months ago. Moreover, EPA already has stayed any compliance requirements for milk and milk product storage tanks pending the agency’s final action on the proposed permanent exclusion. It is known that EPA will take final action on the proposed permanent exclusion this spring.

EPA stands with the President in his commitment to using common sense and transparency to review federal regulations. This commitment to transparency is precisely why EPA publicly announced its intention to delay compliance requirements for milk and milk product storage tanks in October of 2010.

Sincerely,
Mathy Stanislaus
Assistant Administrator
EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Washington, DC

If true, that would be some good news for a change. However, as we continue to watch this story develop, I would note two key phrases in Mr. Stanislaus’ letter. They are “proposed to exclude” and “stayed any compliance requirements … pending the agency’s final action…

Translation: the requirements under discussion are, in fact, not removed from the regulations in any final fashion. Putting a stay on something is a temporary act by definition. If those changes are finalized, then all well and good. But until that process is completed this stands as yet another example of ham handed actions by the EPA which do no credit to the agency or this country.


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Comment pages: 1 2

What about spilled breast milk?

darwin on February 5, 2011 at 12:17 PM

It’s time to defund this travesty of an agency.

sadatoni on February 5, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Two weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule that subjects dairy producers to the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program, which was created in 1970 to prevent oil discharges in navigable waters or near shorelines. Naturally, it usually applies to oil and natural gas outfits. But the EPA has discovered that milk contains “a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil,” as the agency put it in the Federal Register.

Nixon/Progressive Rino

darwin-t on February 5, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Hazardous waste team to Aisle 9, a carton has fallen off the shelf!

ajacksonian on February 5, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Cue Arthur Fonzarelli on waterskis, stage right.

turfmann on February 5, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Guess a lot of farmers will be crying over spilled milk…

Non-petroleum oil? Trim fat? Fat? Probably next on the EPA’s agenda.

Human flesh can be rendered into non-petroleum oils…as can a lot of veggies as well.

Can we defund the EPA?

coldwarrior on February 5, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Is the manufacturer of Lactaid tablets in bed with the Obama administration?

This is nuts. These people are out of control.

BuckeyeSam on February 5, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Nobody ever told them that there’s no crying over spilled milk.

kingsjester on February 5, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Ya, and the effects of the recently passed ‘food safety’ bill are starting to cause food processors troubles.

Skandia Recluse on February 5, 2011 at 12:24 PM

You just had to use “as per,” that moth-eaten phrase of dubious grammaticality, in the title…

steebo77 on February 5, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Really, we don’t have bigger issues?

Cindy Munford on February 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Cuts? Take a chainsaw to the EPA.

pugwriter on February 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Is the administration passing out waivers? Oh. GE isn’t in the dairy business…

cartooner on February 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM

I told this story to a few people and they didn’t believe me. They had to read the WSJ for themselves. They thought I was exaggerating it all out of proportion. Once they realized the truth they actually got pretty mad.

Mord on February 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Am I the only one who can’t click on Ed’s second link and get some crazy login?

Knucklehead on February 5, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Just wait until they figure out what happens when you break one of their cute little swirly light bulbs! Coming soon to every home near you!

Oh, and I grew up on a dairy. Trust me, milk spills are the least of your worries. It is completely ludicrious to have environmental issues over something we REGULARLY PUT INTO OUR BODIES–THAT THE GOVERNMENT RECOMMENDS WE PUT INTO OUR BODIES!

These people are INSANE!

UnderstandingisPower on February 5, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Obama lies: on reducing business strangling regulations

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 5, 2011 at 12:28 PM

EPA to Regulate Dairy Milk Spills…

We will not be cowed!

coldwarrior on February 5, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Obama hates the poor: if it is regulated, it must be paid for: so milk etc prices are going to go up

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 5, 2011 at 12:30 PM

First responders must carry butter churns.

Dhuka on February 5, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Obama lies: on reducing business strangling regulations EVERYTHING!
journeyintothewhirlwind on February 5, 2011 at 12:28 PM

FTFY

VegasRick on February 5, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Obama rails against big business in speeches and then turns around and helps them:

Who is going to go out of business first? The small dairy farm. The small cheese factory. The small ice cream maker.

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 5, 2011 at 12:33 PM

EPA to Regulate Dairy Milk Spills…

We will not be cowed!

coldwarrior on February 5, 2011 at 12:29 PM

That is an udderly strong statement!

VegasRick on February 5, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Didn’t Dr. Sowell cover this act of colossal stupidity (and bureaucratic overreach) over at Town Hall?

oldleprechaun on February 5, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Had to break it my youngest daughter: the milk cup you tipped over at breakfast just got you 5-10 in Leavenworth. Be sure to write.

Bishop on February 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM

I wonder what would happen if you went out and bought a few gallons of milk, went around town pouring it in clever places like on the steps of city hall, public parks, ect. Videotape your crimes and send the evidence to the EPA with a youtube link.

Heck there is a river across the street from me that is classified as “wetlands”. I could film myself pouring a gallon of deadly milk off of a bridge into protected lands. I should probably find a lawyer friend first.

Mord on February 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Really, we don’t have bigger issues?

Cindy Munford on February 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM

There is no bigger issue than total control of our lives. All in all this is just another brick in that wall. We are the mortar and if we don’t let them force us between the brick the wall will tumble.

darwin-t on February 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM

It turns out there is cause to cry over spilt milk.

Lunkinator on February 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM

I think the EPA has somehow confused milk with CFL’s.

BKeyser on February 5, 2011 at 12:35 PM

It turns out there is cause to cry over spilt milk.

Lunkinator on February 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM

funny!

VegasRick on February 5, 2011 at 12:36 PM

EPA acts stupidly!

ladyingray on February 5, 2011 at 12:36 PM

This is racist. Milk is white.

SouthernGent on February 5, 2011 at 12:37 PM

EPA: Lactose Intolerant.

BKeyser on February 5, 2011 at 12:38 PM

This is racist. Milk is white.

SouthernGent on February 5, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Waivers for chocolate milk!

steebo77 on February 5, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I’m witnessing a large protest from the UFC, Union of Farm Cats, across the field. This could get ugly!

Mo_mac on February 5, 2011 at 12:39 PM

They are begging (or daring Congress) for defunding.

ctmom on February 5, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Can I conceal/carry a gun within 500 feet of an elementary school now, because those places are packed with tiny criminals spilling their milk in clear defiance of the federal government.

Bishop on February 5, 2011 at 12:39 PM

There is so much to undo. . . .

karra on February 5, 2011 at 12:40 PM

How do we stop this insanity? I don’t think we can wait another 2 years.

bopbottle on February 5, 2011 at 12:41 PM

The EPA is clearly abusing its power. The government is methodically enslaving us through regulation and bureaucracy. The EPA (as well as the FDA and any other power-hungry agency that limits our rights to live as we see fit) must be kept in check and their authority, power, and budget hugely reduced.

Cara C on February 5, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Here in the Nebraska/South Dakota/ Iowa region they are currently running ads for classes (funded by taxpayer dollars of course) for gardeners and fruit growers to, among several other things, “understand the regulatory landscape”.

Awesome. The government is reaching in to small time gardeners now.

If we take to the streets chanting Hope and Change for a week or two will Obama go away??

cntrlfrk on February 5, 2011 at 12:44 PM

AP- 4H Disbands, Unable to Secure Funding for HazMat Teams at Local Fairs.

BKeyser on February 5, 2011 at 12:45 PM

You guys laugh, but this is how totalitarianism begins.

My Romanian friends are scared because it’s starting here.

PattyJ on February 5, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Didn’t Dr. Sowell cover this act of colossal stupidity (and bureaucratic overreach) over at Town Hall?

oldleprechaun on February 5, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Yes he did. I want to be Thomas Sowell when I grow up. Since I’m 46 already, my wife is starting to doubt that it’s ever going to happen. Yet she perseveres, bless her.

pugwriter on February 5, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Specifically, EPA proposes to exempt milk containers and associated piping and appurtenances from the SPCC requirements provided they are constructed according to the current applicable 3-A Sanitary Standards, and are subject to the current applicable Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) or a State dairy regulatory requirement equivalent to the current applicable PMO. This proposal addresses concerns raised specifically by the dairy sector on the applicability of the SPCC requirements to milk containers.

Oxrock on February 5, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Thomas Sowell wrote a column about this fiasco very recently.

MidnightRambler on February 5, 2011 at 12:51 PM

These plans must be in place by November, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is even running a $3 million program “to help farmers and ranchers comply with on-farm oil spill regulations.” You cannot make this stuff up.

Yep, dairy just got more expensive.

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 5, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Hey, remember way back when that one President said in a State of the Union speech that it was absurd for two different agencies to regulate the same thing? He was talking about fish being regulated by the Interior and Commerce departments, I think, but it applies equally well to cows being regulated by Agriculture and the EPA. Man, I sure miss those days.

Fabozz on February 5, 2011 at 12:53 PM

There’s finally reason to cry over spilt milk.

Rod on February 5, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Not even the combined forces of the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges could come up with a more incomptent conglomeration of sheer boneheaded stupidity at its absolute zenith than what currently makes up the clown college known as the EPA!

Exactly why are we even still funding this pack of morons?!!!

pilamaye on February 5, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Finally someone is doing more than just crying over it! Thank you EPA.

MJBrutus on February 5, 2011 at 1:00 PM

They have to create work to justify their existence. That is pretty standard for bureaucratic constructed entities. Trim them to the bone and they will be busy enough without having to make up retarded things like this for continued funding.

BL@KBIRD on February 5, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Aw let ‘em go! Each day they build more and more credibility with the public with each “intelligent” ruling.

GarandFan on February 5, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Combine this with the new “food safety” bill and you’ll see Obama and his comrades are trying to affect the farming industry the way they affected the oil industry… Not good.

Fallon on February 5, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Weiner & Maher: Beck’s Audience Have No Teeth

http://conservativeblogscentral.blogspot.com/2011/02/weiner-maher-becks-audience-have-no.html

Nearly Nobody on February 5, 2011 at 1:13 PM

“Milk, it does a Government Body good.”
Non-fat, powdered milk; it’s 99% EPA free.

Electrongod on February 5, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Put the EPA in the “crosshairs”

then fire at will

Sonosam on February 5, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Quick, somebody tell the EPA how many people are killed by water every year. (Where’s Julian Assange when you need him?) They’ll feel compelled to regulate it, because, heaven knows, we can’t just go around dumping water into our nation’s … um, waters.

dissent555 on February 5, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Put the EPA in the “crosshairs”

then fire at will

Sonosam on February 5, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Tsk, tsk. New tone, remember?

MJBrutus on February 5, 2011 at 1:22 PM

In other news, FDA TO REGULATE JAZZ SHAW POSTS AS PER SLEEPING PILLS.

Emperor Norton on February 5, 2011 at 1:24 PM

http://nmpf.org/files/file/SPCC-Plan-Template-Final-Sept-20-2010-FORM.pdf

The Dragun Corporation, Environmental consultants, thanks you for your business.

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 5, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Humans have a small percentage or more of animal fat. Non petroleum oil. I guess that gives the EPA jurisdiction over me.

ronsfi on February 5, 2011 at 1:28 PM

If the EPA is willing to regulate milk spills at dairy farms, is the INS willing to regulate the illegal aliens working at the farms?

Key West Reader on February 5, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Obama hates Black people.
He doesn’t want them to have milk.
No milk=bad teeth=bad mood=
no job=poverty=degeneration=misery.
Obama hates Black people.

teacherman on February 5, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Gosh, in earlier, less enlightened times, we were only urged not to cry over it.

erp on February 5, 2011 at 1:33 PM

My Environment is FREEDOM

…and the EPA is the world’s worst Polluter!!!

One simple measure would largely solve the energy crisis, the jobless crisis, and the economic crisis: SHUT DOWN THE EPA!!! …and declare all of its regulations not specifically authorized by law to be null and void.

landlines on February 5, 2011 at 1:33 PM

I can just picture government bureaucrats in their HazMat suits out in the feedlot cleaning up the milk.

RADIOONE on February 5, 2011 at 1:35 PM

high (20%) oil content in Soybeans
We squeeze beans for oil. Corn also contains oil.

The EPA needs to regulate everything and the tipping point will be trouble for them. The want to regulate dust on farms. (fugitive waste they call it)

seven on February 5, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I can just picture government bureaucrats in their HazMat suits out in the feedlot cleaning up the milk.

RADIOONE on February 5, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Do you realize what it costs to clean up haz/mat sites? Do you have any idea who pays for that work to be done?

darwin-t on February 5, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Jeepers.

The EPA went too far when they regulated the amount of water in toilets.

Yet we just let them keep pushing the envelope.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

BowHuntingTexas on February 5, 2011 at 1:49 PM

The liberal idiots are so ignorant about agriculture. They think powdered milk comes from dry cows.

seven on February 5, 2011 at 1:50 PM

This smells of Cass Sunstein. I bet this is a way to regulate our milk consumption for the purpose of Michelle’s healthy foods initiative as well as for Obamacare.

mizflame98 on February 5, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Barry traded treating saccharine as a bio-hazard for milk.

mizflame98 on February 5, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Yeah, this is an awfully loose definition of “oil”.

Can’t wait ’till they target the horrific situation running wild across American high schools with teenager’s faces.

gregbert on February 5, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Up next, a moratorium on milking.

JM Hanes on February 5, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Humans have a small percentage or more of animal fat. Non petroleum oil. I guess that gives the EPA jurisdiction over me.

ronsfi on February 5, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Shhhhh. Don’t give them any ideas.

iurockhead on February 5, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Actually we should require that all bureaucrats spend at least 75% of their time surfing porn sites on their computers…and then another 15% eating donuts.

Either that or spend x number of days per month in the rubber rooms of NYC

r keller on February 5, 2011 at 2:13 PM

The PSA?

BKeyser on February 5, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Meanwhile El Presidente wonders why the Chamber of Commerce is skeptical of his outreach to business

pgrossjr on February 5, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Shutdown all of the 3 and 4 letter federal departments. We don’t need them, and we certainly can’t afford them. Kill them all off.

Dandapani on February 5, 2011 at 2:24 PM

In related news, that offers some reason for real hope: California Climate Law RUNS OUT OF GAS!

Mutnodjmet on February 5, 2011 at 2:24 PM

I am still trying to understand why the EPA is trying to stop Canada from cleaning up its oil sands?

Laurence on February 5, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Who actually knows when there is a milk spill? Is the EPA going to inspect the barns for evidence? This is a sure sign that agency staffers don’t have enough real work and now they’re just making stuff up. Where’s Ben and Jerry?

mph on February 5, 2011 at 2:35 PM

And what about Breast milk? Will that be regulated by the EPA as well?

Key West Reader on February 5, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Who actually knows when there is a milk spill? Is the EPA going to inspect the barns for evidence? This is a sure sign that agency staffers don’t have enough real work and now they’re just making stuff up. Where’s Ben and Jerry?

mph on February 5, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Ben and Jerry were last seen heading for the chunky monkey hills where there is no moochelle regulation and there is no obama.

Watch. Their next great invention will be called “Obama-Freez-One” heh.

Key West Reader on February 5, 2011 at 2:41 PM

This has been on the radar here in Michigan (with a large dairy industry) since last year: GOOD GRIEF!!! EPA moving ahead in classifying cow’s milk as oil, wants farmers to have plan for spill containment!

theblogprof on February 5, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Key West Reader on February 5, 2011 at 2:41 PM

If I recall correctly, Ben and Jerry were big Obama supporters. Now, the price of milk will go up and they’re going to have to raise their prices. So they’ll get to see first hand how anti-business this administration is. They’re against oil drilling too so the irony factor is high on this one. Yes Pecan, was their flavor for Obama.

mph on February 5, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Defund the EPA.

petefrt on February 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM

The point is to make everybody guilty of something, so when they arrest you for speaking out against them, the official charges will be something that does not blatantly violate the constitution.

Slowburn on February 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM

It’s as if in January, 2009, all of the agency heads were told to go out and regulate anything and everything that you can possibly find an excuse for meddling with. Regardless whether it makes any sense or not, WE MUST GROW THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. The costlier the better.

hillbillyjim on February 5, 2011 at 3:05 PM

So, lets follow where this will lead. Milk is spilled in a supermarket. What are they going to do? Call in the hazmat people? Certainly, then, milk can no longer be put down the drain. We’ll need disposal sights like we have for oil and anti-freeze.
Is milk safe for babies any longer if it’s this hazardous?
Yeah, I can see the schools getting carried away with this too. Zero tolerance for milk spills. Kids expelled for bringing in a glass container of milk. Nutcase holding classrooms hostage by threatening to throw milk against the wall.

It’s all just a joke. We’ve moved so far away from what real science is, from what facts are, from what the truth is that all that is left is the ridiculous.

JellyToast on February 5, 2011 at 3:16 PM

The short solution is to have the EPA regs and mindset undergo a quick session with find/replace. Suggestions…

shall/might
must/may
penalty/warning

The bigger picture is the EPA and it’s various laws & regulation has turned into a path to have government manage just about everyone. The solution is EPAs mission needs to promote (not mandate) individuals and companies to become stewards of the environment. You know — get back to promote the general welfare, not regulate it…

drfredc on February 5, 2011 at 3:21 PM

This only makes sense for large quantities. Milk would typically fall under local publicly owned treatment works BOD (biological oxygen demand) regs and is regularly disposed of down the sewer as long as the BOD limitations are met. It is very biodegradable unlike many petroleum based liquids which tend to persist. The SPCC rules apply to any 50 gallon container or larger.

KW64 on February 5, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Dairy farmers will just have to have a bunch of cats around to lap up the milk when it spills.

The EPA is out of control

tommer74 on February 5, 2011 at 3:30 PM

When the hell is the EPA going to finally ban volcanoes? These toxic mountains are surely a pollution risk and need to be regulated at once, if not outlawed.

IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN!

hillbillyjim on February 5, 2011 at 3:34 PM

I have read many articles that discuss the benefits to farming when raw milk is used to treat certain crops. They spray it on as a fertilizer for crops growing in depleted soil.
I can see the EPA rushing to shut that farm down fast!

Katec on February 5, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Comment pages: 1 2