NPPC Defends Livestock Producers’ Rights Amid Activist Legal Challenge

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is leading a defense against a legal challenge by activist groups seeking to overhaul the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) rules. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, aims to impose stringent regulations on pig and other livestock farmers, presuming they discharge pollutants into Waters of the United States (WOTUS).

The activist groups, led by Food & Water Watch, are calling for the removal of the agricultural stormwater exemption and demanding that all CAFOs obtain Clean Water Act permits or prove non-discharge into WOTUS. If successful, this lawsuit could lead to significant financial and operational challenges for livestock producers.

The NPPC, along with other agricultural organizations, has intervened in the litigation to defend the existing EPA regulations and the industry’s long-standing environmental practices. The NPPC argues that major changes to federal laws should come from congressional action, not through court mandates.

The NPPC’s stance underscores the pork industry’s decades of success in addressing environmental challenges and maintaining zero-discharge operations through cooperation with regulators. The organization contends that the activist lawsuit undermines due process and poses unnecessary risks to livestock producers.

Additional Context

In parallel, the NPPC is advocating for reciprocal market access in trade agreements, particularly focusing on the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA). The organization seeks to remove non-scientific restrictions on U.S. pork imports in South Africa and Nigeria, aiming to enhance export opportunities for American pork producers.

The ongoing efforts by the NPPC highlight the critical need for balanced regulatory frameworks and equitable trade policies to support the sustainability and growth of the pork industry. Swine Web will continue to monitor these developments and provide updates on the implications for pork producers.