State Representatives Steve Jacob (R-Altura), Pam Altendorf (R-Red Wing) and State Senator Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) issued the following statement after learning the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has directed the State of Minnesota to develop and implement a long-term solution to reduce nitrate concentrations in the drinking water of the Karst Region of southeastern Minnesota.
“While the immediate demands from the petitioning anti-agriculture activists to shut down animal agriculture have been delayed, it is troubling the EPA has demanded the State supersede the environmental work being performed by local governments.
Just last week, the EPA and MPCA conducted unannounced, surprise inspections of three local family farms in the middle of harvest season. With its decision to force the State to develop a long-term solution to reduce nitrate concentrations, we fear the target will be focused solely on animal agriculture, specifically dairy farms. Despite the proven track record of farmers being good stewards of the land, it appears more regulations are coming, and surprise inspections are a part of that.
Remember, the activist petitioners asked the EPA to prohibit the expansion of concentrated animal feeding operations in the area and prohibit any modifications to their operations. By vaguely telling the State it alone must find a solution to nitrate contamination, it has punted the problem to Governor Walz’s MPCA and a Democrat-controlled legislature that have repeatedly proven to be unfriendly to agriculture interests in this state, and it has now opened the door for the environmental activists in government to act on behalf of their environmental activists in southeastern Minnesota.”