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$5,000 Fines for Spilling Milk? Rep. Hunter’s Office Can’t Show Examples

Dairy industry spokeswoman says her group has no information on anyone being fined for milk spill.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 14, 2011

Rep. Duncan D. Hunter on Nov. 7 called for deregulation, saying it’s “impossible” to keep up with rules on the city, state and federal levels.

He cited an EPA edict: “Literally, if you spilled milk on your factory floor, it’s considered an oil spill, and you could be fined—and people were fined, hundreds of companies—$5,000 a day for spilled milk.” (See video.)

Hunter, speaking at a small-business seminar at the La Mesa Community Center, said President Barack Obama had the EPA “roll back” the rule.

“When you have rules like that, it's impossible to succeed,” he said regarding federal overregulation of small business.

But Hunter’s office in Washington and a spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency have been unable to document anyone paying a fine for spilled milk.

And Monday morning, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based International Dairy Foods Association—which lobbies Capitol Hill on behalf of dairies—said: “We do not have any information on dairy companies that may have been fined for milk spills by the EPA.”

Peggy Armstrong, the IDFA vice president for communications, further said that earlier this year, the EPA issued a final rule that exempts milk containers, at both the farm and processing facilities, from that rule.”

Meanwhile, Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper couldn’t list current legislation that would eliminate all taxes for small businesses—as asserted by the Republican congressman Nov. 7.

After the expo that Monday morning, where the Alpine resident spoke to 250 people, Hunter told La Mesa Patch that “there is legislation out there, and I’m on it” to let small firms that manufacture in the United States be spared federal taxes.

In fact, Hunter’s father introduced a bill in 2007—HR 3900—that essentially would have eliminated federal taxes for certain small businesses. That bill died in the House Ways and Means Committee.

The younger Hunter, who represents the 52nd Congressional District in East County and inland North County, hasn’t re-introduced it in the current 112th Congress.

On Thursday, in response to Patch queries, Kasper provided only links to three online articles (below right) asserting EPA rules that made milk spills subject to the same fines as oil spills.

“The congressman’s point underscores that regulation—supported by this [Obama] administration—is hurting the economy,” Kasper said via email. “EPA had the [regulation] in the pipeline, which the links state.”

From Washington, EPA spokeswoman Stacy Kika said: “We are having some difficulty finding the information you are looking for. Do you have any more specifics? … Do you have any information on the rule that the representative is referring to? Do you have any information on the specific company?”

The Wall Street Journal, in a Jan. 27 editorial, contended that the EPA “finalized a rule that subjects dairy producers to the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program, which was created in 1970 to prevent oil discharges in navigable waters or near shorelines. Naturally, it usually applies to oil and natural gas outfits. But the EPA has discovered that milk contains ‘a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil,’ as the agency put it in the Federal Register.”

But according to the Federal Register, the EPA on April 18, 2011, amended the spill rules “to exempt milk containers and associated piping and appurtenances from the SPCC requirements” provided sanitary standards are met.

The rule change was proposed Jan. 15, 2009—five days before Obama was inaugurated. The EPA said dairy farms would save $146 million a year.

In effect, the EPA in the final days of the Bush administration sought to eliminate the possibility of dairy farms being fined for spills.

In October 2007, Rep. Duncan L. Hunter, father of the current 52nd District congressman, and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Georgia co-sponsored House Resolution 3900, the Restore U.S. Manufacturing Act of 2007 (attached), which would give small businesses a 100 percent tax deduction for being involved in “qualified manufacturing activities.”

It never made it to a committee vote.

According to opencongress.org, the younger Hunter has sponsored 15 bills and co-sponsored 149 since taking office in January 2009. His current efforts include HR 374 (the Life at Conception Act) and HR 290 (the War Memorial Protection Act), but no bill regarding small-business taxes.

Although Hunter is a co-sponsor of HR 144 (the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011) and HR 25, which seeks to abolish the IRS and enact a national sales tax, his name isn’t associated with an effort to eliminate small-business taxes specifically.

For his part, Hunter spokesman Kasper told Patch: “Rep. Hunter’s position (still) is that federal taxes should be zeroed for approved domestic manufacturing activities—large or small. Not an unusual position—even one of the GOP candidates is proposing something similar, I believe.”

Kevin George November 14, 2011 at 08:35 PM
It may be corporate policy but the EPA regulation exists. There are dozens of regulations regarding the production, handling, storing, and cutting of pressure treated lumber. http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/HazardousWaste/upload/Treated-Wood-Waste-Generators-Fact-Sheet.pdf These regulations cost millions of dollars State wide. But don't worry it just gets passed on in the form of higher housing costs.
Tony Lawrence November 14, 2011 at 09:15 PM
Dang it Kevin - I may be busted! The toxic residue on my truck may be found CSI style. My preliminary checking assures me I can cut them and retreat them on the cut ends and I can dispose of them through garbage. The home centers can not as it is a question of volume. I know this to be tru since the clerk as Dixieline toldme AND I read it on the internet!
Kevin George November 14, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Well Tony I'm no pool guy, just a guy that has been in the construction business for thirty years. I realize that sawdust at Dixixeline is small potatoes, I was merely trying to give an example of how regulation effects our lives. Sorry if the analogy is lost on you. .
Selina Forte November 14, 2011 at 09:26 PM
The wood is treated with toxic substances including creosote and arsenic. I would be concerned if there weren't strict regulations as to how this type of wood should be handled.
Tony Lawrence November 14, 2011 at 09:44 PM
The analogy was not wasted on me Kevin. First "small potatoes?" I am the epitome of small potatoes - one man show, sub out work on occassion, struggle to get by, but do what I do so I can coach little league and pop warner and be active in the schools. My point was we all have regulations that we deal with and the alternative is dumping things where ever and whenever you want. Also my point was sawdust at my house is small potatoes, saw dust at Dixiline or La Mesa Lumber is medium potatoes and toxic landfill dumpng is HUGE potatoes, and all should have rules accordingly. If dixieline and home depot wanted to cut treated wood on site - they could, they would just have to have a certified method of disposal. I wish I could find someone who is not so lockstep to have a real conversation with. I think most Americans want less regulations and less government, but realize some is needed. If i could find enough of those people who understand that we need to negotiate the line so that big (or small) business can fuction efficiently but we still protect things that are important to us - child labor laws, environmental impact, etc. We don't need to look the other way so that Dixieline can sweep toxic dust into the storm drain, and we don't need to put off job creating to make sure the spotted barn mouse is protected - then we can have an effective dialog. There are dozens of outdated laws and rules in the pool industry that make business tough - some stupid and some needed.
Kevin George November 14, 2011 at 09:46 PM
Talk to Tony, he's the guy who decided getting his lumber was more important than unleashing toxic chemicals on the public.
Tony Lawrence November 14, 2011 at 11:00 PM
Kevin - your last two comments directed at me I found very funny, seriously. But to be clear, I never said I cut treated lumber. I asked if I could cut it myself and anwered (sarcastically) that I could because the guy at Dixieline told me I could and it says you can on the internet - beyond that I have no idea, I did say (and maintain) that I have carried 20 foot boards on my truck. I assume it does not matter, but now I am curious if anyone knows for sure if you can or can not cut treated lunber?
Kevin George November 14, 2011 at 11:10 PM
I agree, I want clean air water and food as much as anyone. The problem is when government is given so much power over our daily lives, they tend to get carried away. For example: you mentioned labor laws, they are fine up to a point. But read this article about legislation to ban flat bed sheets because hotel workers hurt their backs changing them. Is that really something the government should be spending time on ? http://www.cafemom.com/answers/951463/Should_Banning_Flat_Bed_Sheets_Really_Be_Californias_Priority_Right_Now Just think if someone would remove the outdated pool laws and made your life easier and more profitable. Wouldn't that be a good thing? But no, those regulations are nearly impossible to change so we are forced to live with them no matter how irrelevant an damaging they are.
Kevin George November 14, 2011 at 11:35 PM
You could cut the lumber, but the sawdust is toxic waste, and even if you were working at your own home you must :Transport TWW to an authorized TWW facility. If the TWW is going to a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Center, call and confirm the acceptance of TWW (not all HHW Collection Centers handle treated wood waste or can only collect limited amounts). That is the law. If you open up that link I provided go to household TWW and see for yourself. Glad I could lighten your day with some humor.
Batman November 15, 2011 at 01:04 AM
City of San Diego - urban runoff management plan - appendix II. storm water ordinance - section 43.0304 www.sandiego.gov-stormwater/pdf/jumpapp2.pdf
Batman November 15, 2011 at 01:09 AM
www.sandiego.gov/stormwater/pdf/jurmpapp2.pdf
Batman November 15, 2011 at 01:12 AM
Oh, Mr. Lawrance, are you aware the City of La Mesa has had an ordinance on the books for several decades that prohibits discharging swimming pools into the gutter?
Tony Lawrence November 15, 2011 at 01:20 AM
I am aware of the laws, thank you for your concern. You can reduce the chlorine to zero and remove most of the chemicals and send it into the sewer is my understanding. There are also county regulations and state regulations, that some conflict and vary. I do not drain pools, I do mostly equipment installation/repair and water maintanence. This sadly is a much ignored law in the industry and by homeowners. I see pool drain residue every week somewhere.
Batman November 15, 2011 at 01:27 AM
OK, and did you look up San Diego City's section 43.0304?
Tony Lawrence November 15, 2011 at 01:33 AM
I looked at it - too many words - my head hurt. I will just continue to not dump stuff in the storm drain. I wasted way too much time on this today, I don't have the luxury of schedule to sit at a computer all day. :-)
Batman November 15, 2011 at 01:52 AM
And that's exactly what Mr. Hunter is talking about. People have to comply with hoards of laws and regulations. Just keeping up requires a full-time attorney, not something a small business can afford.
Tony Lawrence November 15, 2011 at 02:01 AM
Then why lie about it make something up? It was like Reagan's "Welfare queen" who got everyone in a tizzy, only to find out after the smoke cleared that he made the fictional character up? If you (he) want my support, treat me like an adult, tell me the truth and back up your facts. Hey, 4 or 5 of us in La Mesa CA, without much effort discovered that spilled milk is a myth/lie - you can not cut treated wood, and you can not use the storm drain as a garbage disposal. If there is a law you want changed - propose it - and I will decide on it's merit - not hype and hysteria. I just want folks to stop screaming "small government" and "cumbersome legislation" and propose specific laws and rules to change. Don't try to inflame public opinion about issues by lying and making stuff up, like Mr. Hunter did - then ran from the accountability.
Bryceson Cabading November 15, 2011 at 02:36 AM
Another reason for me to vote this guy out of office.
Things I Learned November 15, 2011 at 06:33 AM
"She has eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards and is collecting veteran's benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She's got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000." Ronald Reagan "'Welfare Queen' Loses Her Cadillac Limousine CHICAGO, Feb. 28 (UPI) Linda Taylor, who came to notice when Ronald Reagan, in his Presidential campaign, cited her as an example of an alleged welfare abuser, has had her Cadillac limousine seized by the police here." http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00612FF3F5F167493CBAB1789D85F428785F9 "SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (UPI) Investigators probing a Chicago welfare fraud case have uncovered...what they say could be the most massive public aid-bilking scheme in history.... [Linda] Taylor was scheduled for arraignment today...on a 31-count fraud indictment involving...illegal welfare benefits, medical assistance, food stamps, Social Security and veteran's benefits.... She is accused of receiving benefits on behalf of [3] deceased husbands and 27 children--some of them supposedly born after Mrs. Taylor allegedly [had] a hysterectomy.... [Sen. Don Moore] said she has received at least $150,000 annually from the state in cash assistance alone." November 26, 1974 http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1291&dat=19741126&id=kR5UAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8owDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7017,3556874
Tony Lawrence November 15, 2011 at 03:52 PM
OK "Things," - "he said she received $150000 annually." First - "he said" where were the convictions and record? But I am willing to play your game on your terms. Lets say she carried this out for 5 years. $750,000. That gets you in an outrage? That is WAY less than the "9/10 of one percent of the waste" of the welfare program and you dismissed when it was $30 - $50 BILLION. Apples to apples - we are dealing with numbers we know about, so any argument that there is more widespread fraud/abuse/misuse in either program is a wash. Don't you remember the PALLETS of missing CASH from Iraq? And that is what our leaders told us about? Waste is waste. it is interesting that some people get outraged if poor people steal and ignore rich people steal or the military can't account for the (much larger amount of) money. I try to follow Jesus and look out for the least among us, and try to help the poor first, before I assume they are lazy and shiftless - if only I could get the Religious Right to join me.
Batman November 15, 2011 at 03:52 PM
If you spilled milk in your own driveway and washed it down, or the rain washed it down, it is technically a violation. Milk is not a natural component of rain. The city typically doesn't cite residents for this kind of thing but businesses are a totally different matter. Just like slip and fall attorneys the city likes to go after deep pockets, to make a profit... oh excuse me, to generate revenue.
Things I Learned November 15, 2011 at 05:24 PM
claim: Ronald Reagan lied about the existence of Linda Taylor. response: Linda Taylor was a real person. Evidence. rebuttal: What was final disposition of case long after Reagan made claim? Do my research for me. Why are you mad about my hypothetical based on no research? She stole less money than was wasted in Iraq. When you used simple math to put Iraq waste in perspective within context of claims made on that thread, that showed you didn't care about the waste itself. Let's make an apples to apples comparison to new evidence for that other claim. All waste is equally bad. Why do some people get more upset about welfare fraud than government contractor fraud? They should be more upset about government contractor fraud. Jesus would have approved of welfare fraud. The Religious Right does not care about poor people: http://christiannewsreport.blogspot.com/2008/12/biggest-evangelical-charities.html Suggestion for next round: You should call me a NAZI now. (BTW--case eventually closed out with lesser charges, despite evidence the fraud had gone back to 1946)
Phil Owens November 15, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Crackin' up at Things I Learned. Awesome.
Jerry Trevino November 19, 2011 at 04:04 PM
The major chemical composition of milk is Di-hyrogen monoxide. This chemical has know to asphyxiate people when a human is exposed in large volumes. In the case of 2% low fat milk, even a higher dosage of this chemical compound is present. It take a human 3 to 6 minutes to die when completely immersed in it. Dangerous stuff. Anytime you spill anything, the Epa considers it a release. My dog creates a release on fresh environmental clean dirt along with other organic matter on a daily basis. My dog is essentially an epa menace and should be fined 5000 dollars per day every day of his existence. If the epa visits your commercial or industrial site and sees a spilled coca cola, gator aid, paint, anything on the ground. It is considered a Release. You must than at the cost of 10's of thousands of dollars hire a lawyer, conduct an environmental assessment and proof to the epa that the spilled "whatever" I mean the release did not contaminate the ground or ground water sources, or run off the the adjacent properties. It is very expensive to spill Milk or any other substance on the ground, The ground does not belong to you. it belongs to the government.
Denis Brown-Bouvier November 22, 2011 at 04:15 AM
Wow, the Congressman from east county lies to his constituents, fails to deliver any relevant legislation to fix the major issues in the country and and then the fine folk rally around him. Really?
Things I Learned November 22, 2011 at 05:12 AM
East County residents are so stupid. They are David Secor's natural constituency.
David B Secor November 28, 2011 at 02:27 AM
Instead of calling East County residents stupid, why don't you crawl out from under the anonymous rock you hide under, and snipe from, identify your over-inflated self, and run for this House seat against Terri, Connie, Duncan and me. I assume you are a citizen. And over 25 (although your snipes are those of an unemployed teen who spends all day on the computer in his parent's basement). Of course, that would require some backbone, some ideas worth considering, and the ability to shrug off over-investigated ego-driven commenters (like yourself). You don't have any of those characteristics. I welcome your ridicule and opposition to my candidacy. I certainly would not seek your support, as I am one of the "stupid" East County residents you look down on. You still have plenty of time to enter the race. As the only "intelligent" person in the group, your brilliance should be obvious to even the most stupid voters. You should win handily. And it will bring you out of the basement, and into the sun. Will you run? Please?
Things I Learned November 28, 2011 at 04:20 AM
East County residents are not natural David Secor voters. The unendorsed Secor, who doesn't think his potential constituents are so stupid as to vote against their interests over social issues (formerly called "matters of conscience"), is running for one of the most important offices of public trust this Land of Opportunity has to offer. He so easily shrugs off criticism of his credentials and competence that he demands the public naming of his perceived opponents on the internet whose age, employment status, and very citizenship he calls into question when not mocking them as "over-investigated" (sic) cowards from his computer keyboard. Secor proposes to prove his mettle by running against one such commenter he thinks is bereft of ideas and whose vitamin D levels are apparently in question. Fortunately for Secor, he welcomes ridicule: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-pSI9qVEFQ&feature=related
Things I Learned November 28, 2011 at 04:39 AM
Also, you should not use fake names.
Ken Stone November 29, 2011 at 02:34 AM
On Friday, Nov. 25, Voice of San Diego pair featured this story on FactCheck segment of NBCSanDiego broadcast: http://bit.ly/tjC8Hl

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