The EPA is not addressing air pollution from factory farms and it’s a big problem, several environmental, animal rights and citizen action groups allege in a recent lawsuit.
According to the suit filed by groups including Environmental Integrity Project, the Humane Society of the United States, Clean Wisconsin, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the California-based Association of Irritated Residents, the EPA has failed to respond to petitions on the issue dating back to 2009.
“Those petitions asked the agency to categorize large-scale livestock farms as sources of pollution under the Clean Air Act, set air quality standards for new and existing facilities and set health-based standards for ammonia,” reports the Huffington Post.
The plaintiffs allege that ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, two of several contaminants from the massive amounts of animal manure generated by factory farms, are making residents sick in states like Iowa and North Carolina, which are the nation’s leading pork producers.
"In the last 15 years our enjoyment of the outdoors have been severely degraded due to toxic emissions from the numerous large-scale hog factories that now surround our home," Rosie Partridge, a member of the Iowa citizens group whose northwest Iowa home is surrounded by more than 30,000 hogs said in the Post. "We are nauseated at times from this choking smell of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia as well as the odor of decaying animals."
The EPA says it’s reviewing the lawsuit and told the Post it had “no immediate comment.”
We recently shared this video taken by a drone over a typical large-scale factory farm with open pit lagoons filled with animal waste that residents say is being sprayed over their homes.
Raising livestock animals contributes significantly to greenhouse gases, with methane a leading cause of global warming.
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Factory farm hog image via Shutterstock