– Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) was joined today by
Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) and
Tom Carper (D-Del.) in questioning
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s decision to impose additional regulations on poultry farmers using 7,500 pounds or more of propane gas to fuel their farms.
The new regulations, which may affect as many as 20,000 individual family-owned and operated poultry farms nationwide, require farmers to undergo an extensive web-based questionnaire that could take days to complete for many farmers who lack the time and technological resources to complete it.
In her recent meeting with Worcester and Somerset County Commissioners during a tour of the Eastern Shore, Senator Mikulski heard firsthand how this decision is impacting farmers on the Shore whose livelihoods depend on the poultry industry.
The text of letter is below:
Dear Secretary Chertoff:
We are very concerned about the interim final rule that was recently issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS).
Under this rule, a chicken operation using 7,500 pounds or more of propane gas may be considered a high-risk facility and would then be subject to a number of burdensome regulations.
Farmers are concerned that this rule and the subsequent regulations that come with it are unnecessarily burdensome.
This rule may apply to as many as 20,000 individual family-owned and operated poultry farms.
The rule would require these farmers to undergo an extensive web-based questionnaire to collect information on propane usage.
Completing the registration process will be very difficult for poultry farmers, particularly small, family-owned operations, many of whom lack the time and technological resources to complete the web-based questionnaire that could take several days to finish.
The raising of poultry is a major industry and a key driver of economic growth in our states.
Given the serious threats that are currently facing our country and the limited resources of the Department of Homeland Security, please explain why this initiative is a good use of federal dollars.
We urge you to ensure that no unnecessary burdens are placed on the poultry industry.