Estes’ new bill would ban EPA encroachment rule

U.S. Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS) on Jan. 25 proposed legislation that aims to protect small family-owned meat and poultry processors from recently proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

Rep. Estes is the lead original cosponsor of the Banning EPA’s Encroachment on Facilities (BEEF) Act, H.R. 7079, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Eric Burlison (R-MO) to prohibit the EPA from finalizing, implementing, or enforcing the newly proposed EPA rule entitled “Clean Water Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Meat and Poultry Products Point source category.”

“Together with Congressman Burlison, our common-sense bill would prevent the EPA from attacking local mom-and-pop meat producers with their regulatory overreach,” Rep. Estes said.

The EPA in December 2023 proposed the rule to strengthen regulations on discharges from meat and poultry facilities. The rule would, for the first time, expand regulations to include phosphorus discharge along with new standards for oil, organic material, salt, ammonia, and nitrogen, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.

“Once again, Biden’s EPA is using its rulemaking pen to attack small businesses in Kansas and across the country through their recent regulations proposal on local meat processors,” said Rep. Estes. “Kansans have shared with me that this egregious burden by federal bureaucrats would shutter small operations in our communities due to the steep costs of implementing unnecessary, major phosphate and nitrogen testing that large-scale meat-processing operations can absorb and already conduct.”

The Kansas Meat Processors Association, the American Association of Meat Processors, and the Missouri Association of Meat Processors endorsed the bill.

“The EPA’s newly proposed regulation isn’t just an attack on family-run small businesses, it’s an attack on rural communities, like southwest Missouri,” said Rep. Burlison. “The BEEF Act cuts through bureaucratic nonsense and lets these hard-working Americans do what they do best: produce safe, affordable food for our families.”