The National Chicken Council supports legislation introduced in Congress today by a bipartisan group of influential lawmakers that will clarify that chicken litter and other types of animal manure are not hazardous waste under federal law.
“Congress never intended to apply these laws to poultry houses,” said Steve Pretanik, NCC director of science and technology. “Poultry manure and poultry litter are simply not hazardous waste.”
Congressmen Collin Peterson of Minnesota, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and Ralph Hall of Texas, ranking minority member of the energy and air quality subcommittee, and Senators Blanche Lincoln (D) of Arkansas and Pete Domenici (R) of New Mexico introduced bills to clarify that manure is not classified as a hazardous waste under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), otherwise known as the “Superfund law.” The law governs the cleanup of industrial toxic waste sites.
The environmental aspects of poultry operations are covered by state and federal regulations and by voluntary programs.
“Poultry litter is a natural product that is commonly used as fertilizer for row crops,” Pretanik said. “Farmers follow nutrient management plans to ensure that litter is land-applied in accordance with soil conditions and with the agronomic needs of the crops,” Pretanik said.
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.