Gov. Mary Fallin is seeking federal Environmental Protection Agency approval for the state Department of Agriculture to handle EPA’s role in permitting concentrated animal feeding operations. Naturally, environmental groups are up in arms.
David Ocamb, director of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club, says “water is our state’s most precious resource” and claims animal feeding operations threaten water quality.
But large-animal feeding operations also depend upon a clean water supply. Without it, dead carcasses and diseased animals start to stack up and massive financial losses accrue. Agriculture producers in general are far more reliant on clean water than the average citizen.
It’s nonsense to claim the Department of Agriculture — or the agriculture industry as a whole — would turn a blind eye to potential water pollution. Environmentalists prefer the EPA not because it’s for clean water, but because its knee-jerk positions are often simply anti-business.