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EPA Region 7 Hosts Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Committee Meeting in Kansas City, Mo.

Release Date: 09/10/2008
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, (913) 551-7557,
Pictured left to right are: Committee Chairman Jim Moseley, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer, and EPA Region 7 Administrator John Askew.

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., Sept. 10, 2008) - EPA Region 7 hosted the second meeting of the Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Committee, September 8-10, in Kansas City, Mo. The 30-member committee is part of EPA's efforts to expand cooperative working relationships with the agriculture industry and others who are interested in agricultural issues and to achieve greater progress in environmental protection.

"EPA heard from our committee members, EPA Administrator Steve Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer, and representatives of the Renewable Fuels Association and National Biodiesel Board. There were many common-sense solutions to environmental issues discussed that will help EPA develop better policies and programs impacting the agricultural industry," said EPA Region 7 Administrator John B. Askew.

At the meeting, representatives of the farming industry offered a wide variety of insights and recommendations on issues including climate change, the concentrated animal feeding operations rule, energy partnerships, renewable fuels standard, sustainable agriculture, and emerging agricultural issues.

The committee is charged with a number of tasks including providing input and recommended modifications to an EPA biofuels strategy. This strategy will guide the Agency in addressing two key issues: the potential demands on EPA, given the rapid biofuel expansion; and the new Energy and Independence Security Act of 2007 for production by 2022 of 36 billion gallons per year of conventional, cellulosic and other advanced biofuels. The strategy highlights actions to strengthen EPA's internal management and coordination, meet critical research and analytical need, and assess benefits and impacts of the biofuel system.

The purpose of this meeting was to continue: (1) discussion of the impacts of Agency agriculture-related programs, policies and regulations regarding climate change and renewable energy; (2) identification and development of a comprehensive environmental strategy for livestock operations; and (3) development of a constructive approach or framework to address areas of common interest between sustainable agriculture and protection of the environment.

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