State Attorneys General Challenge EPA’s Proposed Rule, Citing Potential $100 Million Impact on Meat Processors

By Trish Svoboda

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, leading a group of Republican attorneys general, is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to abandon a proposed rule that could significantly increase costs for meat and poultry processors.

The proposed rule would expand EPA regulation to include plants with indirect wastewater discharges, potentially increasing the number of regulated plants from about 150 to nearly 3,879. Currently, the EPA regulates only 171 out of 5,055 meat processing facilities in the U.S.

“This is yet another example of the Biden administration EPA overreaching and damaging rural America in the process,” said Abhishek Kambli, Kansas Deputy Attorney General. “This proposed rule is not only unlawful but imposes crippling regulatory costs on small meat and poultry processing plants whose wastewater discharges do not even go directly into navigable waters to begin with. This is wrong and the EPA should withdraw the proposed rule.”

A coalition of 28 state attorneys general, led by Kobach and Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, have voiced their concerns in a letter to the EPA. They argue that the rule bypasses existing regulations and could cost local meat processors up to $100 million. They are urging the EPA to withdraw the rule, saying that it exceeds the EPA’s authority under the Clean Water Act and that the EPA may not be able to legally withdraw the rule due to a lawsuit settlement with environmental groups.

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