Thursday, February 10

EPA in spin/damage control mode on new milk-spill reg

If you've ever wondered why the number of gubmint employees keeps growing rapidly, even as the rest of the economy stagnates, here's one reason why:

Last October the EPA proposed that all dairy farms be required to put containment dikes around milk storage tanks. Further, all dairy farms were to be commanded--under penalty of fines--to maintain written procedures for how they would cope with a milk spill, and to conduct training of all employees to ensure they knew the procedures.

A few days ago the Wall Street Journal took notice of this craziness, and ran an editorial blasting the stupid, inefficient, burdensome [etc, etc] regulatory pinheads at the EPA.

WELL...the gubmint folks ain't about to let no uppity "private enterprisers" get away with criticizing THEM. So one week later the assistant administrator for the EPA's office of solid waste and emergency response--Mathy Stanislaus--wrote an article saying "NO NO NO you stupid wingers, we gods of the EPA never had any intention of doing that."

Well, that was the gist, anyway. Here's what he actually wrote:

The Feb. 2 national...column, "The EPA seeks to expand its bureaucracy'' ...gives readers the impression that the...Agency intends to regulate all small dairy farms as part of its work to prevent oil spills. This is incorrect.

EPA has already proposed to exclude milk and milk product storage tanks from the spill prevention regulatory program. This common-sense decision was announced months ago. Moreover, EPA already has stayed any compliance requirements for milk and milk product storage tanks pending the agency's final action on the proposed permanent exclusion....

EPA stands with President Barack Obama in his commitment to using common sense and transparency to review federal regulations. This commitment to transparency is precisely why EPA publicly announced its intention to delay compliance requirements for milk and milk product storage tanks in October 2010. [All emphasis mine.]

Mathy, if the EPA is so committed to using common sense--something that seems entirely alien to what it's always done in the past--then why did anyone in the agency EVER create "compliance requirements" that would include dairies?

Also, your denial is riddled with loopholes and weasel-words: You write that the idea that the EPA intended to regulate *all* *small* dairy farms is wrong. Did the agency propose to regulate *some* small dairies, or merely large ones? If so, does the EPA still intend any such regs?

You say the EPA announced its "intention" to "delay" compliance requirements for milk storage tanks. "Delay" doesn't mean the proposed regs vanish, but simply that they're...y'know, delayed. Doesn't sound like an outright back-off.

Maybe your denial letter just used the weasel-words by accident, but you can't blame us civilians--i.e. taxpayers and voters--for suspecting otherwise. Far too often we've watched some seemingly innocuous "proposed regulation" explode into ghastly, burdensome, invasive, ridiculous consequences.

If we're skeptical, there's a damn good reason.

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