Congressman Blunt said, "The new law reinforces the intent of Congress when writing the Superfund law 25 years ago. Nuclear waste is a toxic substance, manure is not. Heavy metals are a toxic substance, manure is not. Some attorneys are trying to rewrite scientific terms, like organic nutrients, calling it hazardous waste in an effort to milk millions out of the nation's agriculture economy. The intent of Congress, clearly, was not to place organic nutrients in the same category as heavy metals and nuclear waste."
For decades, the Clean Water Act, Clear Air Act and various federal regulations and state laws aimed at protecting the environment, have regulated the animal agriculture industry, vital to the diverse economy of Southwest Missouri. Recently, some state and local authorities have reinterpreted CERCLA arguing that animal waste is toxic in an effort to shut down livestock and poultry operations. Such an interpretation is not supported by either legislative history or sound science.
Without a clarification contained in the Blunt-Hall measure, every livestock or poultry operation, agriculture field, or organic farming operation on which manure or manure compost is spread for fertilizer could be subject to the costs of compliance and clean up required by the Superfund law. CERCLA was created to provide for clean up of the worst industrial chemical toxic waste dumps and spills. CERCLA and the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act provide exemptions for fertilizer and other substances used in agricultural operations.