AMES, Iowa -- With the recently announced consent agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the nation's swine, poultry and dairy industries, many Iowa pork producers are attempting to determine whether they should take part in the agreement. As of March 16, the EPA extended the deadline for this decision to July 1, 2005. In addition, the public comment period on this agreement will be reopened from April 1 to May 2, 2005.
The Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC), the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and Iowa State University (ISU) Extension are cosponsoring a satellite program on Tuesday, March 29, to help provide answers to questions about the agreement and producer options and responsibilities. "EPA Air Emissions Consent Agreement: What it Means for Iowa Pork Producers," will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. and will originate from the Extension 4-H Building on the ISU campus.
The program agenda features several presenters, including Wendy Powers and Steve Hoff, ISU faculty members; Steve Kerns, IPPA president; and Eldon McAfee, IPPA legal counsel. Max Schmidt, chair of the National Pork Board's Environmental Committee and Iowa pork producer, was involved in many meetings with EPA officials regarding the agreement and will provide his personal perspective on the consent agreement. Topics include a history of how the consent agreement was reached, a review of the agreement, and information on current air emission research and results from Iowa facilities.
Kerns said producers need to understand their options under this agreement and urges them to share their questions with IPPA or IPIC prior to the program.
"This is an important opportunity for Iowa producers and we want to make sure everyone has the information they need to make an informed decision," he said.
Cost of the program is $10 per person. The program will be available through a downlink at many ISU Extension county offices throughout the state. For more information and a link to the list of county offices that will host the program, check the IPIC Web site at http://www.ipic.iastate.edu/events.html.
People should contact a county office directly for information on preregistration requirements at that specific location.