Help with Spill Plans, CWA Issues, What Nutrient Density Means to GHGs, and Converted Vegetarian

Spill Plan Help: You are likely aware of the controversy over whether or not to include milk as a regulated substance in the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rules.  While this is an important issue, what cannot be “lost” in the process is the current requirement for SPCCs at many farms (based on oil and fuel storage alone).  To encourage compliance with the SPCC rules, The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) recently announced the release of an “industry specific” SPCC self-certification template for dairy producers. The template can be found at www.nmpf.org.

Regardless of the Environmental Protection Agency’s current considered extension and potential for exemptions, and whether you can self-certify your SPCC or you need an individual plan certified by a Professional Engineer, compliance with the current SPCC rules should be a priority issue.  The costs for noncompliance (financial and otherwise) are too great.  If you have specific questions relating to the SPCC rules, you can contact Christopher Paré (cpare@dragun.com) or Matthew Schroeder (mschroeder@dragun.com) at 248.932.0228.  

Comment on CWA: We were recently asked to contribute an article to Manure Manager in regard to the potential impact of the recent Clean Water Act (CWA) Ruling.  If you would like to read this article, you can find it here.

Additionally, we encourage you to become familiar with S. 1816 introduced by Senator Cardin relating to the Clean Water Act.  This is potentially VERY significant as it relates to the Clean Water Act, not just for the Chesapeake Bay Area. 

Nutrient Density and GHGs: The final issue we wanted to mention relates to Global Climate Change.  As you are aware, there has been plenty of press on this issue over the last few years.  Livestock agriculture has been on the receiving end of bad public relations as it relates to this issue, much of it beginning with the 2006 UN report Livestock’s Long Shadow. Dr. Frank Mitloehner (Professor at the University of California, Davis) later criticized this report because the UN looked at the lifecycle analysis for agriculture’s impact, but did not do the same for Transportation.  Livestock agriculture is still fighting an uphill battle as it relates to their real “carbon impact.” 

This said, a recent study (Nutrient density of beverages in relation to climate impact) looks at nutrient density of beverages in relation to climate change and provides some additional insight in the debate over climate change. According to the report, “This study is the first to estimate the composite nutrient density, expressed as percentage of Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) for 21 essential nutrients, in relation to cost in GHG emissions of the production from a life cycle perspective…” 

The article, while positive for the dairy industry, does have limited application based on the test parameters. Nevertheless, it appears to be a good scientific assessment that may help clarify this often times controversial issue relating to global climate and agriculture.  You can read the article here

Former Vegetarian Hippie Says Eat Meat: One more final point is this story we found interesting. In the early 1970s a young vegetarian hippie, Simon Fairlie, was faced with a dilemma, what to do with the male goats on the communal farm.  They were not good for milk – the answer: goat stew.  Mr. Fairlie has some unique viewpoints and while not exactly an advocate for today’s large farm, Mr. Fairlie provides an interesting perspective on the issue of farming and the consumption of meat as part of our diets.  His book, Meat: A Benign Extravagance, should be an interesting read.  To read a recent article about Simon Fairlie in “Mail Online” click here.

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