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A proposed EPA rule mandating more stringent effluent limitations for nitrogen, and adding phosphorus for the first time, would impose high costs on approximately 850 of the nation’s meat and poultry processing (MPP) facilities.  Some processors will be compelled to close due to prohibitive costs.  Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s vaunted PFAS reporting rules merely monitor ongoing water and product pollution by more deadly PFAS (forever chemicals) and other toxins generated in the renewables manufacturing facilities being funded with billions of taxpayer dollars.  Reducing food supplies while spewing toxic chemicals onto children is the legacy of this presidency.

The new EPA rules are presented as an innocuous effort to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus discharges in waterways, but upon inspection, they are sweeping in their aggressive impact.  Extending EPA jurisdiction to all things climate is the new Biden norm, and these rules similarly saddle private industry with daunting costs to retrofit facilities.  The EPA is once again exceeding its congressionally authorized mission (shifting from ecological protection to global warming cultism) and also its jurisdiction — these rules extend to an estimated 3,879 MPP facilities not previously regulated and encroach on states’ rights by governing non-navigable waterways historically left to local oversight.

The EPA’s own proposals acknowledge that compliance costs will be high, estimating that facility upgrades will cost $300,000–$400,000 initially, with annual maintenance costs of $100,000.  This will surely cause many food processing facilities to close or raise processing fees, which will impact local farmers and drain consumers’ wallets.  The EPA estimates that “the proposed rule would reduce pollutants discharged through wastewater from MPP facilities by approximately 100 million pounds per year,” and that approximately 850 facilities will initially be impacted.  That is an annual cost of about 85 cents per pound of pollutants at $100,000 — in addition to the initial capital investments to retrofit of $2.55–3.20 per pound.

The Biden administration has unleashed an attack on American farms that mimics the E.U.’s assault to dissipate nitrogen in the name of saving the world.  This will starve the world to save it: whether by design or incompetence, the Biden administration is tightening a regulatory noose on local farm production while funneling astronomical borrowed subsidies and regulatory favoritism to so-called “renewable” energy manufacturing facilities.

Foreign meat and poultry producers will not incur the EPA burdens, which will fall exclusively on U.S. domestic farmers and consumers.  The EPA’s new rules will extend to indirect instead of direct effluent discharges, indirectly aggravating existing food price inflation that POTUS Biden denies exists.  Local food is healthier, is produced at scale, is transported shorter distances, nurtures rural economies and culture, and ensures future food security.  Escalating tensions in the Middle East threaten a modern-day OPEC if the Strait of Hormuz (which supports 25% of global oil supplies) or other oil transport chokepoints are compromised, in addition to inflationary impacts on the growing amount of U.S. food shipped (using fossil fuels) from abroad.

Biden’s “team” has similarly imposed hazy new endangered species regulations on American farms, unconstitutionally dispensed disaster relief funds to farmers based on skin color and sex, proposed SEC rules that would threaten mid-sized family farmers, and fueled food inflation with reckless spending on pet ideological projects.  That latter disgrace — huge subsidies of supposedly “renewable” product manufacturing despite the toxic pollution generated thereby — is what contrasts so dramatically with EPA’s sudden interest in relatively innocuous nitrogen and phosphorus.

This is not to say that these elements (without which life cannot exist) are not a potential environmental pollutant.  Yet they do not cause the host of human illnesses presented by forever chemicals (PFAS), atrazine, glyphosate, and a seemingly endless list of toxins for which Biden & co. have done less than nothing to restrict.  The hyper-manufacturing of solar panels, E.V.s, and heat pumps all generate PFAS and other toxic chemicals, which are spewing into Americans’ water, soils, and household products while the administration targets…MPP plants.

The EPA boasts that its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is

a $27 billion investment to mobilize financing and private capital to address the climate crisis, ensure our country’s economic competitiveness, and promote energy independence while delivering lower energy costs and economic revitalization to communities that have historically been left behind.

Marginalized farming communities and their local farms are being more than left behind — they are being sabotaged.  E.V.s are regressive.  Electric rates and food prices are skyrocketing.  American agriculture is made less competitive with every new Bidenomics shenaniganza that increases U.S. costs without burdening foreign competitors one whit.  Everything about this administration is a socialist injustice scam.

This is clearest in the “climate initiatives” themselves.  New EPA regulations of PFAS in drinking water will (as with the meat processing facilities) regressively pass the costs of filtering water on to ratepayers, keeping its own mega-fund for its bureaucratic rainy day.  Meanwhile, its PFAS regulations for corporate reporting of 12,035 PFAS will take years to simply collect data while the vast amount of PFAS generation will continue unabated.  This toxic generation is amplified by billions of dollars frittered away on counterproductive “renewables manufacturing” that generates PFAS and many other chemicals that are toxic to children and wildlife.  Presumably, America’s poorest and most marginalized communities will pay for that clean-up later via yet higher water rates (and health care costs) — but not out of the EPA’s slush fund.

The EPA’s new MPP effluent diktats are justified under the pretention of helping everyone with food-targeting nitrogen clean-up:

These technology-based regulations are intended to represent the greatest pollutant reductions that are economically achievable for an entire industry. The Clean Water Act requires EPA to periodically review and, when warranted, revise the technology-based limits for industries to keep pace with innovations in treatment technology. As treatment technologies advance, revising the limits on which they’re based locks in the advancements, leveling the playing field for the whole industry.

Kamala Harris could not better concoct this word salad.  Translation: The EPA is leveling the whole industry by ensuring that MPP facilities can’t keep pace with the competition, starting with the big guys before tightening the noose. 

Meat is out; processed “alternatives” are in store for the proles.  New WIC rules for low-income recipients discourage dairy products in favor of plant-based diets, rationalized by the USDA as “changes [which] align the food packages with the latest nutrition science and better support equitable access to nutritious foods during critical life stages[.]”  Women and children need more dairy, not more soy burgers.  Whom is the federal government really serving, aside from globalists and Bill Gates’s synthetic meat boondoggle?

The EPA will thus clean up non-deadly carbon dioxide in lieu of human-toxic PFAS, starting with meat and chicken processors, while E.V.s and solar panels are churned out like a self-replicating virus.  Americans are slowly waking up to the death spiral of wokeness.  Let us pray they wake up before it’s too late and they are sterilized by toxic chemicals, or starve to death like post-modern Maoists and Stalinists.

Attorney-farmer John Klar hosts the Small Farm Republic Substack and podcast from his Vermont farm.  His recent book is Small Farm Republic: Why Conservatives Must Embrace Local Agriculture, Reject Climate Alarmism, and Lead an Environmental Revival.

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