Title

Industrial Farmers: 21st Century Point Source Polluters

Presenter Information

Abraham Puz

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Industrial Farming, Environmental Legislation, Policy Solutions

Abstract

Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) or more commonly known as factory farms is a relatively new way of feeding an increasing population while agricultural land used for animal husbandry decreases. Crowding of livestock has helped make the meat and dairy industry more efficient as a result of the economies of scale realized by large livestock husbandry operations. As a result of decades of the desire for food security within the United States the livestock production industry has flourished by passing on the negative environmental externalities to third parties in the form of surface and ground water contamination in the form of excess nitrogen, pathogens, and other pollutants which can contaminate drinking water and seriously disrupt fresh water cycles and ecosystems. These pollutants, at the high levels produced by CAFOs, should be considered illegal under the Clean Water Act. In addition animal byproducts from these CAFOs emit methane, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia which are three of the many pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act. These pieces of environmental legislation are for the most part ignored when it comes to industrial farming. As the legislation currently stands, the decreasing, or failing to increase, standards has left many CAFOs unchecked by the EPA and other federal and state agencies. Clearly we live in a growing world with growing demands, but the key is to design a plan that doesn’t sacrifice long term environmental stability for short-term financial gain and food security.

Poster Number

11

Faculty Mentor(s)

Wirth, Rex

Additional Mentoring Department

Environmental Studies

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May 15th, 11:30 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

Industrial Farmers: 21st Century Point Source Polluters

SURC Ballroom C/D

Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) or more commonly known as factory farms is a relatively new way of feeding an increasing population while agricultural land used for animal husbandry decreases. Crowding of livestock has helped make the meat and dairy industry more efficient as a result of the economies of scale realized by large livestock husbandry operations. As a result of decades of the desire for food security within the United States the livestock production industry has flourished by passing on the negative environmental externalities to third parties in the form of surface and ground water contamination in the form of excess nitrogen, pathogens, and other pollutants which can contaminate drinking water and seriously disrupt fresh water cycles and ecosystems. These pollutants, at the high levels produced by CAFOs, should be considered illegal under the Clean Water Act. In addition animal byproducts from these CAFOs emit methane, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia which are three of the many pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act. These pieces of environmental legislation are for the most part ignored when it comes to industrial farming. As the legislation currently stands, the decreasing, or failing to increase, standards has left many CAFOs unchecked by the EPA and other federal and state agencies. Clearly we live in a growing world with growing demands, but the key is to design a plan that doesn’t sacrifice long term environmental stability for short-term financial gain and food security.