The EPA has gone mad cow disease

EPA classifies milk as oil, forcing costly rules on farmers

Hint: Milk does not come from the ground (Image: hornytoad.com)

Monica Scott The Grand Rapids Press

Update: State Senate calls for EPA to change rule classifying cow’s milk as oil

GRAND RAPIDS — Having watched the oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico, dairy farmer Frank Konkel has a hard time seeing how spilled milk can be labeled the same kind of environmental hazard.

But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is classifying milk as oil because it contains a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil.

The Hesperia farmer and others would be required to develop and implement spill prevention plans for milk storage tanks. The rules are set to take effect in November, though that date might be pushed back.

“That could get expensive quickly,” Konkel said. “We have a serious problem in the Gulf. Milk is a wholesome product that does not equate to spilling oil.”

But last week environmentalists disagreed at a Senate committee hearing on a resolution from Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland, calling for the EPA to rescind its ruling.

“The federal Clean Water Act requirements were meant to protect the environment from petroleum-based oils, not milk,” he said. “I think it is an example of federal government gone amuck.”

But Gayle Miller, legislative director of Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, said agricultural pollution probably is the nation’s most severe chronic problem when it comes to water pollution.
“Milk is wholesome in a child’s body. It is devastating in a waterway,” Miller said. “The fact that it’s biodegradable is irrelevant if people die as a result of cryptosporidium, beaches close for E. coli and fish are killed.”

Also, the International Dairy Foods Association said it has learned the EPA will exempt the industry from the rule. But state lawmakers say they won’t let up until that is official.

“This is an example of where we have overreach by the department that defies common sense,” said Matt Smego, legislative counsel for Michigan Farm Bureau.

Smego said its an unnecessary regulatory burden that creates additional costs. He said it could cost $2,500 for a certified engineer to safeguard milk, plus more to construct secondary containment structures.


“The federal government has gotten out touch what’s going on in rural America,” said Konkel. “This is our livelihood.””

More at http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/06/epa_classifies_milk_as_oil_for.html

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181 thoughts on “The EPA has gone mad cow disease

  1. They are arresting farmers for selling raw milk and dumping the milk on the ground. The USDA seems to not know this is dangerous. All the molecules in milk trace back to the land, water and air.

    A friend of mine is in safety at a chemical plant. He tells me if a container of ice cream is spilled on their land, they exceed allowable dioxins in parts per billion.
    The crazies are trying to take over.

  2. When New Zealand’s ETS starts next week, it will be the next step in similar over-regulation. When the agricultural emissions come under the system in a few years time, cows, sheep and horses will all be charged a flat rate for emissions of methane.

    You can calculate it all here

    http://www.carbonfarming.org.nz/calculators.php

    We also have a “world-leading” research centre to look into genetically modifying clover so that cows don’t emit as much methane. This, apparently, will be good for our “clean-green” image.

  3. Will they exempt nursing human moms? Or just cows? How about soy? Now that would be hitting below the belt to take the sacred soy milk the greenies advocate consuming and calling THAT a pollutant!!!!!

  4. Milk stains are difficult to remove. Perhaps we should ban the stuff altogether. Think of all those bovine farts that would be saved.

  5. Musings from the Heartland
    The US leadership in DC has taken a lurch to the left and the above is just one of hundreds of nonsense examples where we are becoming a more hostile place to do business. If we don’t correct our course and work on becoming a better business environment, millions of working Americans will suffer greatly.

  6. Um…

    So much to say… so certain others are either typing it scratching their heads like I am…

    Onion? April fool’s? Nope… EPA gone mad. Drunk with power. Weird.

  7. Water will be next. (Water intoxication, you know.) The only cure is abolishing the EPA.

  8. We really need to clean house in Washington… it is populated by idiots hell bent on destroying our economy and way of life.

  9. This is all part of the progressive agenda to slowly start having the government control everything just like Russia and China. If you think I’m nuts look at what they’re doing with the ACGW agenda to push taxes and CAP AND TRADE!

    Here is another good example… The FTA/FDA are attacking nutritional supplement vendors and retail outlets.
    I have two friends currently facing jail time because they are defying an illegal order set forth by the FTA. The FTA and FDA have been sanctioned by Congress numerous times for passing their own laws and ordinances even though they don’t have power to do so. Now they’ve gone one step farther, they’ve not only started passing their own laws, they have created a “judge” position under FTA Mandate that can prosecute cases at FTA Federal Court in Washington DC.
    This is all under the guidelines of the Codex Alementarius because Clinton illegally signed us into the WTO. Anyone having signed into the FTO agrees to abide by the Codex. Sanctions can be assessed against the country by the WTO and the UN if they fail to abide by these regulations. Apparently the FDC has begun the next step and created this absolutely ridiculous regulation on milk next.
    For anyone wanting further information on the FTC trial I mentioned you can go here

    http://dc1freedom.com/

  10. Wellllll, shoot. There goes all the milk products if the EPA doesn’t back down. What is wrong with these “people” (EPA, WWF, Green Pieces, Sierra Clowns, etc. ) ? Don’t they have anything better to do than screw around with other peoples lives? Like maybe GET A DAMN JOB DOING SOMETHING USEFUL!

  11. Warning to all scientists!
    The indictments, issued on 3 June by the L’Aquila public prosecutor’s office, name six scientists as being investigated for manslaughter in relation to the earthquake.
    The list comprises Enzo Boschi, president of the National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) in Rome, the main institute in charge of seismic monitoring; Giulio Selvaggi, director of the National Earthquake Center based at INGV; Franco Barberi, a volcanologist at the University of ‘Roma Tre'; Claudio Eva, a professor of earth physics at the University of Genoa; Mauro Dolce, head of the seismic risk office in the Italian government’s Civil Protection Agency; and Gian Michele Calvi, director of the European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering in Pavia. A government official, Bernardo De Bernardinis, deputy technical head of the Civil Protection Agency, is also under investigation.

    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100622/full/465992a.html

    Hmm! Astrology appears to be preferable.

  12. Obviously the FDA needs to have the following added to milk carton labels.

    ” Spilling milk on beaches is a prosecutable offense due to the risk of spreading cryptosporidium and E. coli”.

    Would that make you cry?

  13. If the EPA is worried about water pollution I suggest they go after kids peeing in swimming pools.

    Leave the farmers alone.

  14. Several times we have opined that a post made by a psychiatrist should analyze such a big collection of really crazy assertions made, specially in the english speaking countries, around the issue of environment and the so called ecology.
    You, more than us, third worlders, are living in really “interesting times”, which I don’t know if they happend before war or an armageddon, however it seems to be sure that there is an impending cataclism in your future.
    Either you sack all these nuts off by kicking them in their asses or send all of them, safely tied in straightjackets to a big asylum or you are going to suffer the inevitable consequences of their insane behaviour.
    It is so stupid that you won’t find such an issue written in any other language than in english, or under “weird news”.

  15. A little bit here.
    A little bit there…
    Soon a whole lot everywhere.

    Itz all about control.

  16. Good Lord, I hope they don’t classify Scotch as a hazard. (Afterall, it IS flamable..)

    If they do, we’ll probably have to bio-remediate as much of it as we can as fast as we can.

    It would be our patriotic duty!

    Max

  17. Don’t we all contain a percentage of animal fat? So if someone jumps in for a swim, covered in suntan oil or not, is that a spill? Don’t fish have fats and oils? Is a dead fish an oil spill? Doesn’t pretty much everything alive, plants and animals, contain the long chain hydrocarbons that we call oils? Does anyone in this administration have any idea what they are talking about? Sorry, that’s a dumb question to ask.

  18. Stalinist ideas. Go after them Kulaks! They are also going after the Amish farmers
    in Pennsylvania….
    Big Ag is getting bigger. The Amish and the small farmer are the enemy..

  19. Fish killed from spilt milk?

    Farmers should just stand outside some regulators offices for a few weeks and let them know why they have a right to bear arms.

  20. Basically EPA can start mass-sterilization of people now. By definition, every man and woman is a pollutant…..

  21. Worse, when milk rots it forms cheese – the white (or yellow) equivalent of tar balls! Still worse, when fungi colonize the cheese you get CAMEMBERT and GORGONZOLA! Europe is full of them.

    And Blancmanges.

  22. Heh, stupidly funny. There’s bacteria that eats a lot of “black” oil, there’s even more that eats animal fat oil, not to mention insects and other animals.

    Maybe the dandelion itself don’t like spilt milk but every bacteria and creature around will, and I bet the dandelion wont mind the water that the spilt milk contain and is left by every one else.

    NSA should make a visit to the EPA in their search for extremists. :p

  23. I think it’s high time for a Milk Party. Hmm, let’s see – – flights to Boston?? No… wait. EPA is in DC. I can see it now, milk cascading down the steps …… oh darn. They don’t have steps in front of their building. Hmm, what can we do as a peaceful protest???
    Ah Ha! Turn the Potomac white with animal fat! I’m thinking July 4th…. Now, how do I get a gallon of that dangerous stuff past the TSA at the airport? Guess I’ll have to drive, or maybe a bus. they’ll never see us coming on a BUS.
    Don’t need to be coy, Roy, just listen to me.
    Hop on the bus, Gus, don’t need to discuss much.
    See you in DC, Lee, and get yourself free!!

  24. One step further will be to remove breasts from all women!, it seems these guys were given to drink kool-aid instead of milk when they were babies.LOL!!!

  25. I doubt Nixon would recognize the monster that the EPA he created has become. It is out of control.

  26. Boy wonder what the EPA would have slapped on the deputies in the long gone prohibition days of running booze down the gutters everywhere!!

    Holy Cow!

  27. These orders stink of political extremism. Soybeans are processed for bio fuels. At 20% oil content, why are they not blowing a gasket over spilt beans?

    Fat content in milk is closer to 5%. Obviously when a bird, coyote, rabit die, their body fat is also on the dirt and can run to the water supply. All the trillions of fish that die in the ocean contaminate the water with their fats and oils.
    It appears the EPA wants to selectively create havoc.

  28. Well, this sort of idiocy is not sustainable. The pendulum will swing in the other direction and as usually happens, it will overshoot and move too far in that direction, too.

    The older I get, the more cynical I become in my opinion of government.

  29. Before too long it will be illegal to wear suntan lotion at the beach (oil seepage into the sands) or in the water ocean (tidal drift carrying the oil into protected wetlands), and to lay on the ground (body oil (animal fat) leaking from you into the ground) without a plastic sheet between you and the earth. Or likely to walk barefoot for either the same reason or for the possibility of cutting you foot and leaking a biohazard onto the ground.

  30. Electric Kool-Aid Madness Test.
    The Super Bowl commercial about the Green Police wasn’t kidding.

  31. Hey Folks!

    This is brought to you by people who have never been to “rural America” except to fly over it, Buy all their groceries at (name the niche grocery) and think that tofu is picked from the field in its wrapper and milk is in cartons at the farm. I don’t see anything surprising here.

    Mike

  32. Bryan A says:
    “June 24, 2010 at 2:42 pm
    Before too long it will be illegal to wear suntan lotion at the beach (oil seepage into the sands) […]”

    Or wash your teenager.

  33. Vuk etc. says: June 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm
    Re: “Warning to all scientists!”

    I think that if you look into this a bit you may find that the people under indictments are the established ‘scientists’ that refused to evaluate the findings of a mere ‘laboratory technician’ who had been making real observations of the real data and had indicated that an earthquake was imminent and had publicly declared where and when it would occur.

    The authority of the established and published scientists and their models prevailed, people died.

    Not much different really from the person who said the o-rings were too cold.

    Sometimes a non-scientist looking at real data can actually understand the meaning, regardless of what the establishment prefers to believe.

    From Wikipedia (sorry it is in this case a convenient collection of the details)

    2009 L’Aquila earthquake

    Italian laboratory technician Giampaolo Giuliani predicted a major earthquake on Italian television a month before, after measuring increased levels of radon emitted from the ground. He was accused of being alarmist by the Director of the Civil Defence, Guido Bertolaso, and forced to remove his findings from the Internet (old data and descriptions are still on line). He was also reported to police a week before the main quake for “causing fear” among the local population when he predicted an earthquake was imminent in Sulmona, about 50 km (31 mi) from L’Aquila, on 30 March where a 4° quake happened (later Sulmona only suffered minor damages by the 6 April earthquake). Enzo Boschi, the head of the Italian National Geophysics Institute declared: “Every time there is an earthquake there are people who claim to have predicted it. As far as I know nobody predicted this earthquake with precision. It is not possible to predict earthquakes.”

  34. “Vuk etc. says:
    June 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm
    From hence forth Milky Way will be known only as Galaxy.”

    Now what do you think do the syllables “Gala-” mean in greek…?

  35. Wait, I may have been hasty. Has the EPA in its wisdom just found a renewable replacement for offshore oil? Oil from cows! Who’da thunk it?

    I think I’ll go out to the henhouse and see if my chickens have laid any uranium…

  36. “Writing in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution the team explains how bacteria in chicken manure break down 50 percent more crude oil than soil lacking the guano.”

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-03/ip-fsa030309.php

    “It is an unlikely application, but researchers in China have discovered that chicken manure can be used to biodegrade crude oil in contaminated soil. Writing in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution the team explains how bacteria in chicken manure break down 50% more crude oil than soil lacking the guano. “

  37. http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/s-510-is-hissing-in-the-gress/

    S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the US. It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.
    If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” ~Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower

  38. I’m not American so forgive me for not understanding what’s going on, but is the EPA and the Obama Administration as nutty as it seems to be? Or, is this media spin? It’s sounds like they’re both doing their best to destabilize America. What’s going on?

  39. Many of these eco-religious lunatics are vegetarians and “vegans” (extremist vegetarians). They would take any excuse to burden dairy.

  40. The EPA takes about everthing out of the sierra Club and a couple others as something to react to. At some point the extremists will get throttled back. The animal waste from wild animals exists and the rotting of all kinds of plants aid in the growth of bacteria. This bacteria exists before the milk is dumped and the milk causes nothing that is both unique, new and harmful. The “Club” doesn’t know that we don’t drink un purified water? If we take particulate from coal generation plants and run it thru water we get material that will grow algae which is high in oil and can be consumed after refining as a combustible.

  41. One little court ruling in Massachusetts just went right to their heads; now they have a Constitutional mandate to preserve and protect us – from air and now food.

    The EPA is an unelected, unaccountable, unnecessary, unlawful organization which must be abolished. Then, there is probably a Cheese Czar slinking around the backrooms somewhere, making deals with national organizations, which also must be brought, like a destructive termite, into the light of day. That is how this Administration operates.

  42. The Federal Government is out of touch and out of control.

    Paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson: A little revolution is needed every now and then to refresh freedom.

    Let’s start with the EPA!

  43. JB Williamson says:
    June 24, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    That Al Gore story is an udder waste of time as we need rather to grab the bull by the horns and mind our pints and quarts, not HIDE in trivialities, but be vigilant ruminants of the truth, lest we be cowed by this illegal regulation of lactation.

  44. @Henry chance

    ‘Soybeans are processed for bio fuels. At 20% oil content, why are they not blowing a gasket over spilt beans?’

    Disregarding the rhetorical nature, but three billion, quite financially string, asian people like soy. It’s the same for rice. Or it’s like the same for wheat for westerners, one has to understand it’s only about half wheat needy people though compared to all the asians. Huh, I wonder what the other 1.5 billion or so people live on? Those would be the ones in serious lack of oil, gas, or hydro and nuclear.

  45. If my girlfriend gives birth do i need an oil spill plan now?

    Only kidding – i’m not even in the U.S.A. ;-)

  46. Wow, it sounds as though you are going the same way as the the daft rules emanating from the EU, expanded upon by all our various government departments in the UK. Welcome aboard!

    My son drinks milk but his favourite, favourite milk is “green” milk, i.e. untreated milk straight from the cow. Hard to get unless you have a dairy farmer friend but it is delicious. I’ll tell him to go into hiding in case he breaks some law for harbouring strange bugs in his body.

    Isn’t the western world going completely bonkers? That’s not a question, actually, but a statement of fact.

  47. Terry Pratchett was once a press officer for the UK’s Central Electricity Generating Board. One of his projects was a comparison of the relative risk of a crash involving a milk tanker or one involving a nuclear materials tanker.

  48. EPA’s new ozone regs are the one to watch– the action levels are below the natural background for many areas. (the largest source of ozone presursors are from trees and soil bacteria.) And few seem to appreciate the insanity of EPA regulating outside air pollution to ever lower concentrations but pushing weatherization which increases the much more dangerous, concentrated and relevant indoor pollution by orders of magnitude.
    And it seems that the problem with the skimmers/separators in the Gulf is not the Jones Act but EPAs refusal to grant permits allowing the discharge of the separated water.

  49. Zeke the Sneak says:
    June 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    That Al Gore story is an udder waste of time as we need rather to grab the bull by the horns and mind our pints and quarts, not HIDE in trivialities, but be vigilant ruminants of the truth, lest we be cowed by this illegal regulation of lactation.

    It behooves us to heiffer sensible approach. What chew cud imagine is a situation where it’s udderly freisian outside. A mixture of spilt milk and bovine excrement might release methane clathrates. The explosion risk needs to be calf-ully assessed. We need a steer-ing committee, and some large research grants. The steaks are high.

  50. Oh, what a dilemma. Whales must be banned, as well. Surely it must be true that nursing whale calves spill just a bit into the ocean.

    And whale milk contains more than 40 percent fat.

  51. Stupid is as stupid does.

    After labeling plant food (CO2) a pollutant and establishing their incredible stupidity it was only a matter of time until human foods started getting the pollutant label. I thought for sure though that bacon would come before milk. Stupidity squared!

  52. Hey, WindRider, Gore was in heat. It’s a rarely observed example of the Reverse Gore Effect.
    =============

  53. Good grief, the inmates truly are running the asylum. Wishful thinking, but I can’t wait for the day then the Sierra Club faces charges of sedition.

    (am I the only ‘green’ who frequents here that thinks our ‘movement’ is in dire need of a courtesy flush…?)

  54. One word: nullification. The affected states need to tell the EPA that it has no jurisdiction there, and take them to court. If the states don’t start interposing between the Feds and the People, there aren’t going to be any people left. The EPA’s motto may as well be, “Die, suckers!”

  55. “But Gayle Miller, legislative director of Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, said agricultural pollution probably is the nation’s most severe chronic problem when it comes to water pollution.
    “Milk is wholesome in a child’s body. It is devastating in a waterway,” Miller said. “The fact that it’s biodegradable is irrelevant if people die as a result of cryptosporidium, beaches close for E. coli and fish are killed.””

    It is truly unfortunate to have little information, yet pretend that one has vast knowledge and expertise.

    E-coli comes from remnants of bovine faeces found in meat that has not been properly handled. It is impossible to get E-coli from milk (unless, of course one pours it into a barn gutter, then attempts to retrieve it!

  56. Why the hell is an unsupported ad hominem allegation (so unsupported that not only did the alleged victim say she drank with him after, but she couldn’t be bothered to follow through with her complaint or assist investigators and instead has sold her story to the National Enquirer for $1,000,000) against Al Gore allowed on this site?

    Why does JohnH’s comment and others of its ilk deserve to even pass moderation?

    They’re unseemly and grossly off topic.

    Reply: I’ve trashed the comment you complained about, posted in another thread, with no reference making it so easy to find. Thanks for your help. ~ ctm
    I can’t stand Al Gore. There’s no evidence this is anything other than a B.S. smear against him.

  57. @Alec Rawls

    Vegetarians sensu lato include all those who don’t eat meat. Vegetarians who consume dairy products are the largest sub-group within all vegetarians and generally just have moral reservations over killing animals to sate hedonic desires. Sensu stricto this group is called lacto-ovo vegetarians. Yet another subgroup only excludes warm blooded animals and are referred to as pescatarians, not true vegetarians, and don’t consider killing fish to carry any moral baggage. Yet another subgroup usually called vegans, which you mention, eat no animal products at all. These are usually for health and/or religious reasons as they believe that all animal products contain harmful things such as cellular waste products, highly saturated fats, and whatnot or they strictly follow God’s commandment to Adam in Genesis that he would have only seed bearing herbs as his meat while the rest of the animal kingdom got only the leafy parts. In Eden there was no killing of animals at all for any reason i.e. no death or destruction.

    I recite this in the interest of precision and accuracy. I’m no kind of vegetarian but I do tend to avoid eating red meat because I don’t need it in my diet and mammals are a little too close to me on the evolutinary ladder to consider them a food source as opposed to fellow sentient travelers on this mortal coil.

  58. Ike Hall says:
    June 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    One word: nullification. The affected states need to tell the EPA that it has no jurisdiction there, and take them to court. If the states don’t start interposing between the Feds and the People, there aren’t going to be any people left. The EPA’s motto may as well be, “Die, suckers!”
    ================
    Agenda 21 circumvents State Law. Thank Nixon for zoning America.
    I can hardly believe this is happening. I can only hope the Hail Marys being pushed by the EPA are stopped in it’s tracks.

    Is anyone else worried at all?
    I don’t think stories like this are a joking matter.

  59. This is no joke folks. Contamination of water tables and disease are serious issues on the farm. I grew up on cow farm, 30 miles west of Kansas City and witnessed a milk spill once. Everything on the farm was killed and most of the community was evacuated. Several neighboring pig/cow farms were not so lucky and entire herds were left for dead.

  60. So if I leave milk in the fridge too long and it spoils – WTF am I supposed to do with it? Take it down to someone licensed to dispose of used motor oil like the local Jiffy Lube? At least it won’t cost anything. I’ll just leave it on the counter while they’re rolling on the floor laughing at me.

    Oh wait… I only drink skim. Nevermind.

  61. The voters and those “too busy” to vote have no one to blame but themselves. Have we learned the lesson yet? Time will tell.

  62. Milk can be a serious pollutant, especially if it finds its way into waterways. It is a particular problem at Dairy factories where infrequent breakdowns or stoppages can leave them with huge tanks of rotten milk and nowhere to put it. Imagine what thousands of gallons of rotten milk smells like. Imagine just opening the stopcocks and pouring it into the local stream. That is what they used to do. It contaminates all water downstream killing the fish, encouraging noxious growth and high bacteria counts, and making it unsafe for swimming.

    People who handle large quantities of milk need to have treatment facilities, secondary containment, etc etc, to deal with these kinds of problems, none of which they are going to be willing to pay for unless someone stands over them with a stick and makes them do it.

    A bigger problem for dairy farmers is dealing with effluent. Yes it does biodegrade and you can spread it on the land and use it for fertiliser. But there are constraints as to temperature and ground water table that limit the capacity of the land to cope. And it takes effort to transport the effluent around and spread it over a suitably large area. If you overload the land by (for example) spreading large amounts of effluent in the same small area in winter, and it then starts running off into streams, then you get all the usual problems that are caused when large amounts of shit are dumped in a stream. It doesn’t matter that you spread it on the land. If it runs off into a stream the effect is the same.

    Dealing with effluent properly is one of the most difficult aspects of Dairy farming and can be very expensive and time consuming. Many farmers are unwilling to do it properly unless someone stands over them with a big stick to make sure it happens. And because farming happens away from the public eye it can be quite easy for farmers to cheat on this and get away with it unless those who police these matters actively moniter and investigate and get out on the farms to see what the farmers are getting up to.

    You really do need someone like the EPA closely monitering dairy farmers because dairy farming can be very dirty and destructive of the environment. The libertarian approach just leads to filthy water and dirty dairying. Unsurprisingly dairy farmers are often not keen on being watched. Dairy farmers complaining about being forced to clean up their messes properly is nothing new and isn’t surprising. This story sounds to me like somebody is just creatively using the BP oil disaster as an excuse for more of the usual complaints.

    So are the EPA rules reasonable? I don’t know. Where is the detail here? What exactly are the rules that the EPA imposes on the dumping of milk which are claimed to be so burdensome. Apart from the sound byte about oil there is a conspicuous lack of detail in this story. And that alone gives me cause for doubt.

  63. Walter Boldt says:
    June 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm
    ‘“But Gayle Miller, legislative director of Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, said agricultural pollution probably is the nation’s most severe chronic problem when it comes to water pollution.
    “Milk is wholesome in a child’s body. It is devastating in a waterway,” Miller said. “The fact that it’s biodegradable is irrelevant if people die as a result of cryptosporidium, beaches close for E. coli and fish are killed.””

    It is truly unfortunate to have little information, yet pretend that one has vast knowledge and expertise.’

    This Why WE must force the EPA to the DATA QUALITY ACT and, of course, A lot more SUNSHINE.

  64. How much oil and e-coli in a cow pie? I think the EPA should dictate bovine diapers for all cattle – and all creatures, both great and small, who can’t flush it, but let fall.

  65. I can see the EPA response plan. Something about air dropping thousands of hungry cats into the spill zone…

  66. “Ian H says:
    June 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm
    Milk can be a serious pollutant, especially if it finds its way into waterways. ”

    A year ago German milk farmers staged a protest a la Francais, dumping thousands of liters of milk in front of cameras, protesting against low milk prizes.

    Being Germans, they made sure the milk found its way into the gutter after flowing decoratively over the street in front of the cameras.

    Unfortunately the gutter led right into the fish pond of the monastery behind them. Today the monks don’t cultivate fish to eat them anymore; they had koi carps in the pond which all died. Expensive kois.

    Law of unintended consequences. (Now you can say knowledge of this story should have stopped me from joking around here but i couldn’t help myself…)

  67. Ian H is right. As an ex-dairy farmer (now on the other side of the fence doing ecological consultancy work) I have to admit that if thousands of gallons of milk get spilled into a waterway due to a malfunction at a factory (or, as happened on our farm once, a strike by dairy workers) the end result can be very nasty indeed. The Biological Oxygen Demand of all the milk-eating bacteria that result very quickly renders waterways anoxic, which can kill all multicellular life for possibly miles downstream. It’s no joke.

    Of course, the question of whether milk should be classified as oil is a different matter entirely. The environmental effects of the two are quite different.

  68. Ian H says:
    June 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm
    Milk can be a serious pollutant, especially if it finds its way into waterways. It is a particular problem at Dairy factories where infrequent breakdowns or stoppages can leave them with huge tanks of rotten milk …………..

    How offen does that happen and where is the data to back your statment up.

  69. The day they serve me with a citation for pouring spoilt milk down the drain is the day I come out shooting. I grew up on a dairy farm that went under. They really DO hate cows, don’t they? The whole US government has gone stark raving mad!

  70. Vuk etc. says:
    June 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm
    > From hence forth Milky Way will be known only as Galaxy.

    No, the Home Galaxy, and Homeland Security will take over the SETI project to look for pan-galactic terrorists.

  71. R. de Haan –

    murdoch’s Sun article is being picked up, including by murdoch’s fox news:

    24 June: Fox: McCartney, in Interview, Compares Global Warming Skeptics to Holocaust Deniers
    “Sadly we need disasters like this to show people,” McCartney said in an exclusive interview with The Sun. “Some people don’t believe in climate warning — like those who don’t believe there was a Holocaust.”…
    Chris Horner, a senior fellow at Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of two books on environmental policy, blasted McCartney’s comments.
    “Was Posh Spice unavailable? I’ve seen quite a few reasons to look elsewhere than actors and crooners for deep thoughts on weighty policy matters,” Horner wrote in an e-mail to FoxNews.com. “And this is certainly one of them.”
    Horner’s message continued: “They’ve got computer model projections, Leonardo [DiCaprio] and the Cute Beatle. In the other corner are observations proving the models wrong, ClimateGate, NASA-Gate and the host of IPCC-Gates.
    “I’m comfortable with the balance of authorities here.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2010/06/24/paul-mccartney-global-warming-holocaust-deniers/

    March 2009: New York Mag: Paul McCartney Does Not Act Too Flamboyantly Rich
    McCartney watches his energy consumption, too: Rather than a megayacht, for instance, he has a Sunfish. “All my friends have got the big yachts, and I sail up to them on my little tiny boat,” he laughed. “To tell you the truth, it’s because I’m not comfortable doing it the other way … I don’t live in a real big house; I get a bit uncomfortable, you know, when I’m rattling around.”
    Of course, even Sir Paul admits to the occasional splurge, like hiring a private plane. “You’ve still got to live, you know — you’ve got to do what you need to do.”

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2009/03/paul_mccartney_does_not_act_to.html

    this has pics of those not “really big” homes:
    March 2008: London Evening Standard: Revealed: How divorce judgment laid bare details of Macca’s fabulous wealth
    His properties include:
    • His first purchase, a plush town house in upmarket St John’s Wood, London
    • A mid-town Manhattan apartment he bought in 1984, as well as a house on the millionaire’s playground of Long Island, New York State, and a place in Beverley Hills
    • Peasmarsh in East Sussex, a 1,500 acre estate where he spent much of his married life with Linda
    • An extensive country retreat in the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland
    • Other homes in East Sussex, Essex, Somerset and Merseyside.

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/showbiz/article-23459949-revealed-how-divorce-judgment-laid-bare-details-of-maccas-fabulous-wealth.do

  72. btw paul is very special:

    24 June: ContactMusic: Sir Paul Mccartney – The Queen Lifts Pyrotechnic Ban For Mccartney
    SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY has been given royal permission to use pyrotechnics during his Hyde Park gig in London on Sunday (27Jun10) – after British monarch Queen Elizabeth II lifted a ban especially for the rocker…
    A source tells the publication, “As Hyde Park is underneath a flight path, pyrotechnics are usually banned from any concerts held there. The Queen herself is the only person who can change that rule, so clearly she’s a MACca fan. She has agreed to let him blast off some impressive pyros during Helter Skelter.”

    http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/story/the-queen-lifts-pyrotechnic-ban-for-mccartney_1149180

    Reply: Enough with the off topic stuff. You’re lucky I didn’t go back and delete all of it. ~ctm

  73. Ian H says:
    June 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Milk can be a serious pollutant, especially if it finds its way into waterways. It is a particular problem at Dairy factories where infrequent breakdowns or stoppages can leave them with huge tanks of rotten milk and nowhere to put it.

    I’ll grant you that, though in the spirit that too much of a good thing becomes a disaster. Certainly fertilizer runoff falls under that umbrella too.

    However, if this is accurate: “But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is classifying milk as oil because it contains a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil,” then that implies dumping bacteria, casein, and other non-fat components is not hazardous, or at least not regulated.

    Random factoid I don’t know – How many pounds of manure are produced per pound of milk? Oh heck, I can Google with the best of ‘em. 120 lbs manure, 70 lbs milk per cow-day.

    If the EPA is going after accidental milk spills, that implies manure control is all set, right? Maybe not, see http://www.sec.nv.gov/cafo/tab_v.pdf

    There’s a VT farm that is making methane from manure, and others, e.g. http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-05-14/bay-area/17426549_1_methane-metering-straus-farms – two to three year payback! And – energy when you need it – base load, peak load, night calm winds.

  74. Using the EPA to correct an occasional problem like disposing of milk is like using an atomic bomb to get rid of chipmunks. The cure is much worse than the problem. And the EPA will never go away, but will continue grow, and tighten its milk regulations until small dairies go bankrupt. Large corporate dairy farms will be the only ones with the assets to buy off Congress to modify EPA regulations in their own interests.

    Since its inception the EPA has received well over $100 billion. Despite its self-promotion, the results have been little more than what individual States can do, at much lower cost.

    Obama increased the EPA’s 2010 budget by 34%, to $10.02 billion. It will employ 17,384 full time bureaucrats, who will meddle in almost every aspect of everyone’s lives. How? By pursuing their #1 stated goal: “Global Climate Change.” Regulating CO2 as a “pollutant” is Lisa Jackson’s top priority. This action will cause enormous increases in the cost of living for everyone. And it is based on a lie.

    But there is a silver lining to this cloud: Jimmy Carter will no longer be known as the worst President in American history.

  75. What? Milk kills fish, how so? Does that mean I have to stop feeding the Rhincodon typus named Joe who lives in my fish tank milk? He is quite hooked on the stuff, and if I am not careful enough to see that he gets his daily gallon, he’ll terrorize me by singing “Old MacDonald had a farm.. ” over and over again and horribly out of tune, until I have rectified my error, and he will most surely drive me insane if I tell him he has to stay off the milk because it will kill him , he will never believe it.

  76. in the case that this is a joke, what does this really say about the track record of the EPA when people believe them capable of something this ridiculous?

    on the other hand. what does it say about the EPA if they are actually capable of something this ridiculous?

  77. old construction worker
    As anyone that has read my comments at WUWT will know I am not a starry eyed green. Ian H is correct and I have personally seen the impact of a milk product tanker spill causing depression of DO and a major long term impact on a resident trout population. That said- milk is not E. coli and certainly not a crypto problem- nor a potable water issue- nor how you would go about protecting a supply from these sources. (I am always amazed at how clueless Sierra Club spokespeople are). Agriculture is our most serious water quality and habitat threat and is often fueled by the perverse incentives of subsidies. Like growing rice in a desert) We have known that some Ag practices are indefensible- but EPA has known it for 40 years and done little, the NGOs keep silent because it deflects from their themes and this regulation seems far down on the priority list if you were really worried about non-point sources.

    Sierra Club and other NGOs choose what environmental issues are financially rewarding by test marketing the public. Direct mass mail campaigns use multiple environmental scare scenarios and those that result in higher donations are chosen for development and coordination with EPA and the mail marketing consultant that takes a peice of the donations. One could argue our entire environmental agenda has been set by direct mail consultants. (And you probably thought that there was some scientific logic involved.) The entire industry changed when it was found that linking politics to a particular environmental threat caused response rates to skyrocket. Dairy farming is not the type of issue that would trigger big cash for the Sierra Club—something is going on. Or an intended distraction or threat on some other “issue.” This reg. begs the question if some interest other than the environment will benefit? Wait a minute- that’s been true for a while now.


  78. Milk can be a serious pollutant, especially if it finds its way into waterways. It is a particular problem at Dairy factories where infrequent breakdowns or stoppages can leave them with huge tanks of rotten milk …………..

    old construction worker says:
    How offen does that happen and where is the data to back your statment up.

    I can remember it happening. I’m talking a while ago you understand and I’m not a young man. It hasn’t happened recently as all the large milk processing plants where I live now have adequate contingency plans including secondary containment and on site treatment facilities. And they are closely monitered for possible leaks and breaches. But there have been some quite serious spills in the past. I live in New Zealand and one thing we know all about is the dangers of dealing with milk in large quantities.

    Here is a link that discusses the effects of milk as an environmental pollutant, including emergency contingency plans for safe disposal in the event of supply chain disruption. Yes we have such plans where I live. They are very necessary let me assure you. Let me quote …

    Milk must be disposed of with full regard to effects on the environment. Of particular concern is the possibility of milk contaminating waterways. Milk is a strong waste with an extremely high BOD5 and has a very high potential to cause pollution if it reaches surface waterways. Milk is approximately 400 times the strength of domestic sewage and 1000 times the strength of treated farm dairy effluent.

    Discharging milk to waterways has two major effects:
    1. Death of fish and other aquatic life, as all available oxygen is depleted.
    2. Contamination by the milk and by the dead fish and vegetation – of water drawn
    downstream for domestic and agricultural uses.

    (emphasis added)

    It goes on to list safe disposal methods.

    All you people who seem to think that milk pollution just a joke are clueless and should think again. It can be a very serious problem indeed. People with huge milk tanks who refuse to build secondary containment and treatment facilities to deal with a possible breach are acting very irresponsibly. We don’t let such people operate in New Zealand. It seems that you still do in the US.

  79. The fact that their “expert” is with Sierra Club tells you all you need to know. Probably left the imprint of her berkenstocks on the poor farmers head for being so backward as to produce a healthy and sustainable product that has been the mainstay of many cultures around the world for millenia. He’s lucky she didn’t have a hemp rope handy.

  80. Tallbloke is right, “What chew cud imagine is a situation where it’s udderly freisian outside. A mixture of spilt milk and bovine excrement might release methane clathrates. The explosion risk needs to be calf-ully assessed. We need a steer-ing committee, and some large research grants. The steaks are high.”

    This is a matter of considerable Angus-iety!
    We are mighty be-Holstein to those here on WUWT who have warned that it could get colder. And somehow we have lived on the horns of our dilema without benefit of the EPA since 1620. That woman who said milk polutes water and kills fish is really out standing in the field, in my opinion.

  81. Not to sound like a conspiracy nut or anything, but I’ve had this nagging feeling for some time now that this kind of thing is designed to get ordinary people pissed off enough to start rampaging thru the streets looking for heads to chop. The idea being that if the peasants become sufficiently aroused it provides an excuse for even more control being imposed.

    Something like this: ” Can’t have rioting now, can we? So in order to protect all you nice folks we ( the government ) have no choice but to declare martial law, disband Congress, nationalize all essential business, confiscate all private property, and suspend all elections. And we’re really sorry about that, and I’m really a nice guy with nothing but love for you. But you did elect me to fundamentally transform the country; so here it is, I say here it is.” Sincerely, BHO.

  82. Ian H,

    A simple regulation requiring secondary containment vessels would completely fix the problem. Insurance companies would require the tanks in order to provide coverage. Problem solved, no need for the EPA.

    But the EPA does not want the problem solved, because the problem, minor as it is, is job security for the EPA, which is currently on an empire-building tear.

    It is also hard to believe that dumping thousands of gallons of milk is commonplace. Dairy farmers might just as well compost their excess hundred dollar bills and feed them to the worms, as throw away excess milk.

    And when there is excess milk, it can very easily be made into cheese; home cheese making kits only require milk and a straining cloth [cheese cloth, get it?]. It may not be the best brie, but a billion people live on less than $1 a day, and they would certainly appreciate some high fat calories.

    But as usual, the worst possible solution is an expanded government bureaucracy.

  83. D. Caldwell says…
    If we don’t correct our course and work on becoming a better business environment, millions of working Americans will suffer greatly.

    Umm 35million unemployed as of last week. Over 10 million of us are 99’rs…
    not will suffer greatly…. are suffering greatly.

    My unemployment ran out last week, and I can’t find a job for nothing and I’m a network admin with an education, and I’m going to school to get a BS and an MBA.

    I repeat are suffering….

  84. Gary Hladik says:
    June 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm
    This is a gag post, right?

    Right?

    Say it ain’t so, Anthony!

    This isn’t April 1st and he’s not kidding.
    I’ve googled this and found at least 3 items to back it up.

    I also found a real interesting pdf brought to lite under the FOI where the FDA, Dept. of AG are going after farmers to prosecute farmers who sell unpasteurized milk.

  85. “All you people who seem to think that milk pollution just a joke are clueless and should think again.”

    We KNOW our EPA. The EPA wants to regulate milk production just as much as the MMS wanted to regulate off shore drilling. You’ve seen how effective big government is in regulating one field — why do you think that a different organization will be any better?

  86. biddyb says:
    June 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm
    Wow, it sounds as though you are going the same way as the the daft rules emanating from the EU, expanded upon by all our various government departments in the UK. Welcome aboard!

    This is all coming from the UN and the WTO… google Codex Alementarius
    but be careful when you do it…. Big Brother is watching…
    Mooooo

  87. Brad says:
    I also found a real interesting pdf brought to lite under the FOI where the FDA, Dept. of AG are going after farmers to prosecute farmers who sell unpasteurized milk.

    Brad- I commented that this smelled like something else was going on. Sierra Club has close links to a powerful DC marketing/lobbying firm that also represents the “organic” food sector. This may be a shot across Dept of Ags bow for the unpasteurized milk campaign.

  88. I use reconstitute milk from powdered milk every morning to consume with my cereal. Is powdered milk an oil? I buy the biggest size box they have because it lasts “forever”. So do I need a secondary containment structure, just in case?

  89. Rhoda R says:
    June 24, 2010 at 7:59 pm
    “All you people who seem to think that milk pollution just a joke are clueless and should think again.”

    We KNOW our EPA. The EPA wants to regulate milk production just as much as the MMS wanted to regulate off shore drilling. You’ve seen how effective big government is in regulating one field — why do you think that a different organization will be any better?

    ………..The USDA haS pressure to intimidate dairy farmers and discourage milking. The MMS is NOT out to regulate drilling. We found out recently their mission was to promote wind turbines and they naturally neglected drilling. It is a problem internally.

  90. Guys (and Gals), I think the explanation is a lot more simple than this discussion is assuming. If you hire and pay a bunch of people to write new rules and regulations, that is what they will do. Every single bloody day. And every single bloody night. Our problem is mission. The EPA has been given the mission to move the amount of pollutants to zero. As we are on the far end of the curve, they have to get more and more extreme in their rules and regulations to demonstrate any improvement at all.

    One solution would be a complete defunding of the EPA along with repeal of the Clean Water and Clean Air acts as unconstitutional. Transfer everything to the many states to administer as they see fit.

    We are long past the point of diminishing returns for EPA efforts, yet those employed keep on pushing for more clean and more clean.

    Perhaps it is time to turn them to the Dark Side of the Force by financially rewarding them to come up with straightforward, defensible, guidelines for pollutants and set those numbers – whatever they end up being – in stone via congressional action. Force every single one of the 535 vermin to make a vote on what is real and what is not. If we are successful, we put the EPA and Big Green out of business for a very long time to come. Cheers -

  91. @Smokey:
    From my reading of the articles a “simple regulation requiring the building of secondary containment vessels” seems to be pretty much exactly what the EPA is trying to achieve here. The “classification as oil” thing is just a talking point that those fighting this requirement seem to have latched onto. My guess is that this is probably just some meaningless bureaucratic internal classification scheme that the EPA has for pollutants.

    I agree that farmers don’t like to dump milk and will only do so in exceptional circumstances. The problem is however that cows don’t have taps and can’t just be turned off. If there is some exceptional problem that means you can’t use the milk, you are going to have to milk them regardless and then get rid of the milk somehow. A strike at the processing plant will do it easy. As will a bridge outage due to a flood which cuts off farm access. As will any number of other unforeseen circumstances.

    Farmers don’t like to dump milk, but sometimes they have no option. The important thing is that when they do have to dump it, they have a contingency plan which includes a place to put it that will keep it out of the waterways.

  92. This would mean that in every maternal hospital floor or wing, we would have a hazmat problem.

  93. Ian H – you are absolutely correct from an environmental perspective. However, EPA is a politically motivated agency and they just wouldn’t mobilize on this level using Sierra Club as a spokesmen if there was not something more going on. I realize that you are from NZ– so as an example the NGOs and regulatory agencies promote farmland preservation programs especially in environmentally sensitive areas here in the US. Taxpayers pay to buy out the development rights in perpetuity. These new green acres are then sold back into farming without a single restriction- no buffer strips to protect tributaries, no need for cover crops etc. Understand that someone building a home must submit a soil management plan, erect soil fences, reseeding plan and as long as 5 years of progress planting reports for perhaps a few thousand square meter disruption. Contrast this where nothing is required for a thousand of hectres of farmland often being paid to plant crops no-one wants or needs. So when EPA and Sierra Club spend political capital and use this as its major thrust into agricultural impacts- it may be right but probably not why they are doing it nor what they should be doing first.

    A fast fact for you- one cow is the equivalent of ~27 people in terms of daily BOD loading- and don’t ask me what I had to do to find that out.

  94. Some excellent comments here. A truly large spill of milk certainly can have catastrophic consequences. But this is has nothing to do with its fat content and everything to do with it being an excellent growth medium for bacteria. The same can be said for the huge vats of blood collected at slaughter houses.

    Michigan may be a unique case in regard to risk. You literally cannot swing a dead cat in that state without encountering a creek, stream, river, pond or lake. But is the EPA addressing a real problem or a “potential problem”?

    BTW…E. coli is ubiquitous. This is a gram-negative aerobe that is abundant in the bowels of almost all mammals, including humans. Only specific strains are pathogenic via contaminated food.

  95. Does this mean that salmon are no longer allowed to return to freshwater streams to spawn? What struck me when I went to watch a salmon run on one of the local streams a few years back was the astounding number of dead fish in the water that had fulfilled their biologic imperative and Gaia no longer had any use for them. A feast for the local bear population but salmon is a very oily fish and there’s probably more than 5% oil left in the carcasses that are in the water and thus in violation of EPA guidelines. The salmon are causing untold ecologic devastation and here the EPA is worried about spilled milk.

  96. @Brad

    You might want to target your network admin skillz toward medical practices. What with the promise of a whole new level of government red tape (Obamacare) on an industry that’s already struggling to get and keep their networks and records compliant with the Patient Privacy Act (HIPPA) it promises to be a continuing goldmine for bit wranglers such as yourself.

    Sorry to everyone else about my off-topic comment.

  97. Pat Moffit,

    You probably got that info from the Dirtiest jobs episode with Mike Rowe where there was a cow with a window in it’s side and Mike shoved his hand with a camera inside the hole into the Rumen didn’t you? :-)

  98. Welcome to the latest socialist utopia where good is bad and bad is whatever they say it is. Like milk for instance.

    Come November American better get it right or we’re all in deep faeces.

  99. Hope people see that the conspiracy theories about carbon regulation are actually fact. It’s about control, and eventually, depopulation. There are some crazy pricks running this Earth.

  100. They trying to tell us here in New Zealand on the tv news that we make the same amount co2 when making a cup of coffee with milk as it takes to drive 160km in your car.

  101. H.L. Mencken: “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-face for the urge to rule it.”

  102. Good god! And I thought that the EU produced the most ludicrous regulations & laws in the world!

  103. Sorry for the double post – here’s what this law applies to:

    SPCC applies to a farm which:
    • • •
    Stores, transfers, uses, or consumes oil or oil products, such as diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic oil, adjuvant oil, crop oil, vegetable oil, or animal fat; and
    Stores more than 1,320 US gallons in aboveground containers or more than 42,000 US gallons in completely buried containers; and
    Could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to waters of the US or adjoining shorelines, such as interstate waters, intrastate lakes, rivers, and streams.

    See above link for more details.

  104. Farm effluent, particularly from large dairy herds, is quite nasty and dangerous stuff if released into waterways, but milk?
    There is a German uber-ecofascist in New Zealand at this moment making all sorts of shrill and silly claims about the NZ environment ‘rotting from underneath’ due to rainwater that falls on farmlands running into streams and rivers.
    Also in the Current Telegraph newspaper (UK), an article about the new threat from acid rain created by vehicle exhaust gasses. The usual airhead/alarmist puffery from their Science Editor, Louise Gray, who attributes this to Scientific American, but no actual scientific proof is quoted. Lots of ‘could be’ and ‘maybe’ but not much else.
    I subscribed to SA in years past, but would not waste the money these days.

  105. “Milk is wholesome in a child’s body. It is devastating in a waterway,” Miller said. “The fact that it’s biodegradable is irrelevant if people die as a result of cryptosporidium, beaches close for E. coli and fish are killed.”

    Has there been an incident as described above? How long have dairy herds been around because something like the incidents above should have happened by now? Anyway, statements like ‘It is devastating in a waterway’ is emotive and annoying because it doesn’t say how much. The implication is any amount. In this case the rule maker/s appear to have no scientific knowledge or even an understanding of the dairy industry.
    How might such rule makers have dealt with Benjamin Jesty who in 1774 infected healthy individuals with the CowPox virus so as to protect them from the deadly Small Pox virus?

  106. “Milk is wholesome in a child’s body. It is devastating in a waterway,” Miller said. “The fact that it’s biodegradable is irrelevant if people die as a result of cryptosporidium, beaches close for E. coli and fish are killed.”

    Cryptosporidium is already *in* every waterway east of the Rocky Mountains, courtesy of all those cute little beavers pooping in the streams — and you can’t get it from drinking untreated milk, Mizz Miller, and you don’t die from it. Beaches close from contamination by *fecal* coliform bacteria, and about the only way you can kill a fish by pouring milk into its habitat is to heat the milk to 90C and then apply it directly on top of the fish.

    Now have a nice glass of warm milk and go sit quietly in the corner while the adults mock the EPA…

  107. Ale Gorney says

    BS The french farmers poured 1000’s of litres all over the fields, the roads, around supermarkets and close to goverment buildings. Unfortunately, none of them died. However, if you pour milk or any other liquid over polluted ground and other creatures drink then they might possibly die but not from the milk.

  108. Pat Moffitt says:
    June 24, 2010 at 8:58 pm
    ‘Ian H – you are absolutely correct from an environmental perspective. However, EPA is a politically motivated agency and they just wouldn’t mobilize on this level using Sierra Club as a spokesmen if there was not something more going on.’

    Henry Kissinger declared in the 1970’s, ‘If you control the oil you control the country;(which is being done not only with the input side, but with the output of a byproduct, CO2) if you control food, you control the population;(which is being done not only with the input side, but with the output of a byproduct, milk).

    Again I ask What freedom are you not willing to lose before you take a stand? We need to demand that government agenices like the EPA back up their statement with facts not with “I think this could happen”. We need a lot more sunshine in Washington.

  109. Ian H.
    It hasn’t happened recently as all the large milk processing plants where I live now have adequate contingency plans including secondary containment and on site treatment facilities.

    That’s kind of the crux of the problem, isn’t it? – it hasn’t happened recently. It’s the precautionary principle run amok. We haven’t had a nuclear leak recently either, BUT it could happen and cause an environmental disaster. So, we must need more regulations. I’m afraid that because of the gulf oil spill, we’re going to see more and more ludicrous stories like this.

  110. Do you just make this stuff up as you go? Show us one piece of evidence of this ever being enforced or costing farmers anything.

  111. R. de Haan says:
    June 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Really all white stuffs should be banned, specially in powder form: That powder makes them not to see themselves as they really are: Nothing.

  112. “Also, the International Dairy Foods Association said it has learned the EPA will exempt the industry from the rule. But state lawmakers say they won’t let up until that is official.”

    So, the rule is milk as a pollutant. The largest possible polluter is already exempted. Regulation failure 101.

  113. I just want to thank everyone who posted, I have had some of the best laughs in ages:-)
    and after reading the article I sure needed that!
    koi,uranium eggs, tallbloke, and 90C milk…too good.:-)

  114. But Gayle Miller, legislative director of Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, said, “Milk is wholesome in a child’s body. It is devastating in a waterway,” Miller said. “The fact that it’s biodegradable is irrelevant if people die as a result of cryptosporidium, beaches close for E. coli and fish are killed.”

    They will not eradicate the threat of cryptosporidium by placing regulations on unpasteurized milk spills. And, I suspect most dairy farmers do not routinely engage in milk dumping, whether it is illegal or not.

    There are valid reasons for preventing feces from domestic animals to enter the water supply. That said, how do we control all the pesky wild animals and birds pooping in our lakes and rivers?

    Most people understand that ‘natural’ water must be boiled to be sterilized for drinking. They will not avoid public beaches for fear of contracting diarrhea. I can think of a few other forms of agricultural pollution that deserve more attention: pesticide and fertilizer usage.

  115. The EPA should push for legislation banning the unregulated transport, and interstate transport of unhomogenized or unpasteurized milk in containers exceding 38DD.

    First order of business is to set up inspection stations along major thoroughfares…

  116. Elizabeth says:
    June 25, 2010 at 9:14 am “Most people understand that ‘natural’ water must be boiled to be sterilized for drinking.”
    Just a bit of nit picking- water is disinfected before meeting potable standards not sterilized. (A matter of degree- disinfection does not cause a complete kill). Crypto forms tough little spores that are resistant to chlorine and are best removed by filtration. Because of crypto spores EPA requires all surface water drinking water supplies (except NYC) or wells subject to surface water influence to be filtered. As such Sierra Club’s comments are inane. Crypto is also known as beaver fever- given this animal is known to be a crypto vector— where is the Sierra Club initiative to get rid of the beavers?

  117. Matt: June 25, 2010 at 1:17 am
    I know this isn’t the popular thing to do, but how about having a look at the actual regulation than reading some FUD news article: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/docs/oil/spcc/spccfarms.pdf

    And the “animal fat” wording in the actual regulation has been ruled — *by the EPA* — as applying to milk. If the article was just about an internet interpretation, I’d agree with you, but it’s a full-fledged EPA ruling, genuine news, complete with a hearing before a Senate committee and typical commentary during the hearing from the eco-know-nothings.

  118. I’m glad the EPA will protect us from industries planning to drill for milk in the gulf. This is the kind of pro-active work we really appreciate from our public servants. ;-)

  119. There is A SOLUTION:
    Health and human rights
    WHO Constitution: “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being…”
    SO….we are obliged to make possible that all this nuts could ” enjoy the highest attainable standard of health, as this is one of the fundamental rights of every human being…”
    THEN, call the closest lunatic asylum, get your local environnuts and provide them “the highest attainable standard of health”, after providing and dress them with straightjackets.

    http://www.who.int/hhr/en/

  120. In a quick search, I could find three main causes of E.coli closing beaches in Michigan: overwhelmed storm drains, comprised sewer mains and septic systems, and sea gull poop. I could not find a single instance of milk spillage causing a problem to a body of water in Michigan.

    I lived in Grand Haven, Michigan for 11 years. Everyone knew not to go swimming on the beaches next to the Grand River after a rainstorm, unless you wanted to end up with a severe case of River Rash.

    While the EPA is fixing the non-problem of milk spills, what are they doing about the real problems, like sewage discharge?

  121. This is a perfect example of the hazards of allowing the bean-counters to define exactly what constitutes a bean. Since many (if not most) of the current controls on our lives are now via “regulation” rather than by “laws,” the citizens at large need to keep a much closer eye on the regulators.

  122. Bill –

    Right, in the terms of the SPCC (Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure) program, yes, milk as an animal fat is treated the same as oil, because its effects on a waterway or lake would be similar (causing anaerobic conditions, etc). But this isn’t about the EPA crying over a glass of farmer’s spilled milk – its about asking farmers (and industry) to have a spill prevention plan in place if they have oil (milk, vegetable oil, etc) storage between 1320 and 10,000 gallons, or a PE certified plan if they have more than 10,000 gallons oil storage. And its not even ALL farmers, its only farmers who are position where they ‘could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to waters of the US.’

    Classifying milk as oil is a simple classification in the same way Pluto is technically no longer classified as planet. In what the SPCC is trying to accomplish, it makes sense to classify milk in the same category as oil, given its similar environmental effects on waterways, and similar storage and containment methods.

  123. With the constant stream of regulations being issued from Washington, is it any surprise that the unemployment rate has not come down. They are literally strangling all of the small businesspeople I know, the dry cleaners, contractors and doctors. Of course they are now after dairy farmers, we all know how evil the hardworking, productive independent farmers are to socialists everywhere. One would think that it is a conspiracy to allow the government to control almost everything and have big business control the rest- the two seem to be partners at this point in time. I do not think that the Obama administration cares at all about unemployment, if they keep people on unemployment compensation they have control over them.

  124. Sumdood says:
    June 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm
    With the constant stream of regulations being issued from Washington, is it any surprise that the unemployment rate has not come down. [–snip–] I do not think that the Obama administration cares at all about unemployment, if they keep people on unemployment compensation they have control over them.

    It thought that’s what the WHOLE GAME PLAN was, when people elected that jerk to office.

    Are you telling me that’s not what they had in mind?

  125. Milke spilled into waterways is a major pollutant. The problem is that being organic it causes a wide range of algae and bacteria to “bloom” and this,in turn, poisons fish, amphibians and sometimes even humans. As a now retired fire officer I can assure readers that it is a very serious problem, but then, so is the NH4NO3 that is used to fertise agricultural land and is leeching into water systems, again noursihing all “the wrong kinds” of algae and water plants, choking waterways…

    We better not get started on the problems that arise when a farmers “organic” fertiser pile leeches fluids, bacteria and even nutrients into the ground water and then into the water supply. Your EPA may be run, as the EPA in the UK is, by “managers” who are unqualified and theorists who have no practical knowledge of the real world. They are certainly showing all the signs of following an agenda set by some polictican who follows the mantra “Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up!”

  126. Matt: June 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    Right, in the terms of the SPCC (Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure) program, yes, milk as an animal fat is treated the same as oil, because its effects on a waterway or lake would be similar (causing anaerobic conditions, etc).

    No, it wouldn’t — milk is mostly *water*, with a small percentage of butterfat and solids. The EPA has classified it *as* an animal fat, not a liquid containing a small percentage of animal fat. Milk mixes readily with water and disperses — the solids settle out and the butterfat breaks down into minute globules.

    But this isn’t about the EPA crying over a glass of farmer’s spilled milk – its about asking farmers (and industry) to have a spill prevention plan in place if they have oil (milk, vegetable oil, etc) storage between 1320 and 10,000 gallons, or a PE certified plan if they have more than 10,000 gallons oil storage. And its not even ALL farmers, its only farmers who are position where they ‘could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to waters of the US.’

    According to the EPA, “waters of the US” includes anything from the Mississippi River all the way down to a seasonal stream, or an aquifer underlying the surface, regardless of the distasnce below ground. I’ve *dealt* with these idiots before, and they are nowhere as reasonable as you make them sound.

    Matt, you are a reasonable man, making a reasonable man’s interpretation of the regulation. Problem is, the EPA hierarchy isn’t composed of reasonable people — they have an agenda, and they’ll put the most twisted, convoluted interpretation possible to *any* regulation in order to make it fit.

    Classifying milk as oil is a simple classification in the same way Pluto is technically no longer classified as planet. In what the SPCC is trying to accomplish, it makes sense to classify milk in the same category as oil, given its similar environmental effects on waterways, and similar storage and containment methods.

  127. Twitchy “post” thumb.

    Classifying milk as oil is a simple classification in the same way Pluto is technically no longer classified as planet. In what the SPCC is trying to accomplish, it makes sense to classify milk in the same category as oil, given its similar environmental effects on waterways, and similar storage and containment methods.

    Putting milk into the same category as oil makes as much sense as putting carbon dioxide into the same category as carbon monoxide. The environmental effects of a 10,000 gallon milk spill on land or in water are orders of magnitude less than the environmental effects of a 10,000 gallon oil spill on land or in water.

    Cheaper to clean up, too…

  128. BTW, I’m in agreement with the need for a containment plan for large *petroleum* storage tanks. However, a four-foot rammed-earth berm surrounding the storage tank is all anyone needs to construct, and that’s only a morning’s work with a Bobcat. I’d be surprised that any farmer with a 10,000 gallon oil tank wouldn’t already have one in place.

  129. Putting milk into the same category as oil makes as much sense as putting carbon dioxide into the same category as carbon monoxide. The environmental effects of a 10,000 gallon milk spill on land or in water are orders of magnitude less than the environmental effects of a 10,000 gallon oil spill on land or in water.

    I’m glad we agree then! Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are both deadly to animals when present in sufficient quantities ;)

    Anyway, the reason oil, milk, animal fat, vegetable oil, etc are considered harmful for waterways is because when present in large quantities, the bacteria that metabolize the energy in these substances simultaneously deplete the surrounding water of oxygen, killing any other living animals that happen to be there. Those are the facts. That is why regulations need to be in place.

    The Deepwater Horizon event has demonstrated the need for strong regulations. But this is one of those areas where you lose either way on the PR side… try to implement regulations – people complain; when an accident happens that could have been prevented by stronger regulations – people complain.

  130. Hundreds of starving third world kids , no doubt, would gladly receive a few drops of such milk spillages

  131. That’s perhaps the consequence of an exaggeration of democracy. Not everyone is ethically qualified for important responsabilities.

  132. Government and common sense don’t go together.
    I live in Wisconsin, and we have some pretty strict rules about septic systems.
    We must pay contractors to have our septic systems inspected every three years, and we must pay an administration fee as well.
    Part of this fee is supposedly to help someone who can’t afford to have their septic system repaired.
    Getting information on how these fees are actually used is just about impossible.
    Of course it doesn’t matter if the house with the septic system has ten occupants or one, or what size the septic system is, they must be inspected every three years.

    This is all needed of course because of the slim possibility that someone could actually continue to live in a house whose septic system doesn’t work, and that the septic system would be close enough to a river, stream or lake to contaminate it.
    I’ve never heard of a septic system contaminating our water, but every few years we hear about a government run sewage system accidentally dumping millions of gallons of raw sewage into one of our lakes, with apparently no punishment since it was an “accident”.

    We are required to have low flow faucets and toilets to save water, not because there is any shortage of water in Wisconsin, but because some of the cities are overdrawing their local aquifers or don’t want to spend to expand their surface water treatment plants.
    I have a well, and all the water I use goes back into the ground through the septic system, none is wasted, a low flow faucet and toilet are simply not necessary.

    Yet for some reason farmers can waste massive amounts of water for irrigation that mostly evaporates away.

  133. tpb says:
    June 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm
    “Yet for some reason farmers can waste massive amounts of water for irrigation that mostly evaporates away.”

    Farmers have the Dept of Agriculture to protect their interests– you have no one.

  134. John Q Public said
    I’m not American so forgive me for not understanding what’s going on, but is the EPA and the Obama Administration as nutty as it seems to be? Or, is this media spin? It’s sounds like they’re both doing their best to destabilize America. What’s going on?

    I’m not sure that being or not being an American has anything to do with not understanding the wackiness of the Obama Administration. Remember the Obama is the darling of the media spin-meisters, so what we’re seeing is has been normalized for public consumption.

  135. has anybody told the cows yet, when you tell them make shure you are on the other side of the fence

  136. Pat Moffitt says:
    June 25, 2010 at 10:44 am, “Just a bit of nit picking- water is disinfected before meeting potable standards not sterilized. (A matter of degree- disinfection does not cause a complete kill). Crypto forms tough little spores that are resistant to chlorine and are best removed by filtration.”

    Actually, boiling water is the only effective way to kill cryptosporidium, as it it highly resistant to chlorine and filtration is only as successful as the filter being used. Also, beaver fever (giardiasis) is caused by a different organism, g. lamblia.

    That said, I competely agree with your statement that the Sierra Club’s comments are completely inane. Perhaps we should eradicate the beavers and bovines..?

  137. Once, a Minister from the Northern Territory Government introduced me as guest speaker to a few hundred mining people. He said I ” …. was a miner so mean that I would demand a bacterial count on the milk of human kindness.”

    But in the Top End, we take that as a compliment.

  138. If you want to see more environmental insanity, google “parts per quadrillion”. There are some enviro-nuts so crazy they’ve demanded the Columbia river should be so pure the water would kill every living thing in it.

    At parts per hundred, you can easily see/smell/taste contaminants, some even at parts per thousand. At parts per million you won’t see any difference between clean and dirty water but you might be able to smell or taste the difference with certain things. The EPA allowed max for chlorine in drinking water is four parts per million. I don’t know how much is in the water where I live, but a sink full of it smells like a swimming pool and black clothes quickly get bleached gray in the wash.

    When it gets down to parts per billion, forget it. Just drink it, not going to kill you, might take a few seconds off your life expectancy. At parts per quadrillion, how many swimming pools full would you have to drink to get enough of something like a non-natural dioxin to even begin to have a detectable effect? (There are many completely natural dioxins in the environment, everywhere, even in Ben and Jerry’s icecream.)

    Water that’s been distilled and filtered to as close to absolute purity as possible is NOT good to drink. It will leach vital chemicals out of your body. Even worse for you is taking that purest possible water and de-ionizing it. De-ionized water doesn’t stay in that condition for long because it’s extremely active at absorbing anything that is water soluble. That’s why distilled and de-ionized water is used in electronics factories for washing assembled circuit boards.

    To whomever said they don’t need red meat in their diet, you are flat out wrong. Red meat from herbivores has B vitamins that that omnivore (and carnivore) metabolisms cannot create. Most important is B-12. The human body can store quite a lot of B-12 and the other B vitamins, but if you stop eating red meats your B vitamin stores will deplete.

    When you run out of B vitamins, the consequences are rather nasty and will become permanent with prolonged lack. Among the worst is damage to the brain and nerves. B vitamin deficiency presents similar to senile dementia or Alzheimers. A large B-complex shot can help but if not administered soon enough some brain damage can be permanent.

    With any diet that is not a well balanced omnivore diet for humans, you must take supplements for the vital chemical compounds you’re not getting from the critters you’re not eating. A strictly vegan diet is extremely unhealthy and dangerous, especially for children. Some vegetarian advocates warn against children being on any kind of vegetarian/vegan diet. Their growing bodies, especially their brains and nervous systems require animal fats, proteins, vitamins and other compounds for their “building blocks”. The human brain is 60% FAT. Nerves have a protective covering of fat called myelin.

    Someone should do a large scale study of various disorders such as nervous and digestive system problems and what those people’s diets as children were like.

  139. Matt: June 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm
    I’m glad we agree then! Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are both deadly to animals when present in sufficient quantities ;)

    For that matter, so is oxygen.

    Or anything else — hence the expression, “Too much of a good thing…”

  140. Elizabeth-
    That’s what happens when you get old- you start mixing up your cyst formers!

  141. Galane: “When it gets down to parts per billion, forget it. Just drink it, not going to kill you… Water that’s been distilled and filtered to as close to absolute purity as possible is NOT good to drink.”

    And, in fact, exposure to small levels of germs and organisms helps develop a healthy immune system. I do not think it is coincidence that most adults I know who grew up on farms, drinking dugout water and unpasteurized milk, hardly ever catch a cold. Sterilization of drinking water is not a bad thing, but the addition of chlorine certainly kills the good along with all the bad organisms.

  142. I think we better cry over spilled milk — but not for the reason in the original saying.

    The EPA has become an abomination.

  143. Here in the UK during the Foot and Mouth disaster a few years ago a farmer came up against the walls of bureaucracy that now run our land. He was in an isolation zone so the road tanker couldn’t get to his farm and his storage tanks were getting full, he phoned for help and was told if he dumped the milk he would be prosecuted, if he tried to move the milk himself he would be prosecuted and the RSPCA said if he didn’t milk his cows they would prosecute him as well. (All the people were just doing their jobs and following the guide lines and none could help as much as they said they wanted to).

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