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WASHINGTON -U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) today sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan urging the agency to withdraw a proposed rule covering wastewater discharged by meat and poultry processors. 

“Given the technical complexity and high costs of wastewater treatment alterations, coupled with the massive expansion of the number of regulated facilities, a 60-day comment period demonstrates EPA is not interested in seeking meaningful input from the regulated industry. As such, we urge EPA to withdraw the rule,” wrote the Members.

In their letter, the Members called on Administrator Regan to earnestly work with stakeholders in any future rulemaking, ensuring that the EPA’s actions do not compromise the U.S. food system.

“The proposed rule exposes hundreds of operators to a new regulatory regime with significant costs and a disregard of the ramifications on stakeholders … We are concerned the number of potential closures is likely much higher than estimated, and we believe it is irresponsible for EPA to propose regulations that will arbitrarily close plants and eliminate jobs from the rural economy,” the Members continued.

In addition to Risch, Crapo, and Fischer, the letter was signed by Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and 17 House Republican colleagues.

Stakeholders supporting the effort, include: American Association of Meat Processors, North American Renderers Association, and North American Meat Institute.


On January 24, 2024, the EPA published its proposed rule on the Meat and Poultry Products (MPP) category wastewater discharge regulations and standards. The rule included three regulatory options that the EPA estimates will impact between 844 and 1,618 facilities.

The proposed rule only provides a 60-day comment period and will close on March 25, 2024. The EPA recently announced to stakeholders that it will not be extending the comment period.

The Members’ letter calls on EPA to withdraw the proposed rule. It claims that a 60-day comment period does not allow time for meaningful feedback on three proposals and expanding regulations on meat, poultry, and rendering facilities.

The letter also expresses concern that the EPA’s cost estimates are extremely low relative to projects completed in recent years and that the EPA failed to provide adequate technical documentation to support its cost estimates.

Read the full letter here.