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IDFA Asks EPA to Ease Regulatory Burdens

May 17, 2017

IDFA this week asked the Environmental Protection Agency to review several regulations that “place a massive burden on dairy foods processors that make them less competitive than food manufacturers overseas.” EPA solicited comments on whether to repeal, replace or modify its existing regulations as directed by President Trump under an executive order he signed in February requiring a regulatory reform task force to help “alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people.”

IDFA’s comments highlighted three EPA regulations that are unnecessary burdens to dairy companies.

Risk Management Program

In March, EPA published final amendments to its Risk Management Program (RMP) rule that IDFA believes are extremely burdensome and do not provide additional protections to the environment or communities. These amendments, which are scheduled to go into effect June 19, 2017, require third-party audits, public disclosures of sensitive facility information and are redundant to regulations administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The RMP aims to prevent the accidental release of hazardous chemicals and regulates use by dairy companies of anhydrous ammonia, the most commonly used chemical in industrial refrigeration systems, and chlorine, a chemical used in the wastewater-treatment process. While members support this goal, the changes “will undermine facility safety and security and impose additional costs and recordkeeping requirements without preventing chemical accidents and protecting surrounding communities,” IDFA said in its comments.

Pesticide Tolerances

IDFA also called for EPA to establish default tolerance levels of 0.1 parts per million of pesticides in foods, similar to standards in other countries. With no current default tolerance level, U.S. food manufacturers are at a significant disadvantage compared to their international counterparts, IDFA explained, and asked EPA to conduct expedited reviews of new tolerance requests to ensure a level playing field.

Inspector Training

IDFA also asked EPA to ensure that its inspectors are properly trained to reduce the improper application of standards and regulations. Several IDFA member companies have reported that EPA inspectors have attempted to apply standards that are not relevant to them, which could expose members to unwarranted violation notices and unnecessary legal expenses.

Read the comments here.

For more information, contact Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at elyons@idfa.org.

 
Dairy Facts 2016