Sen. Carper Applauds Changing Federal Rule to Ease Burden on Chicken Farmers on the Eastern Shore

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) applauded the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision today to exclude small rural farms from their chemical security regulations.
In an August letter to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, Sen. Carper joined with Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) criticizing the agency’s proposed regulations, which could have affected as many as 20,000 individual family-owned and operated poultry farms nationwide.
“The chemical security proposal should focus on dangerous chemical facilities, not chicken houses in small, rural communities, like those across the Delmarva Peninsula,” said Sen. Carper. “For months, I have been pressing the Department of Homeland Security to change its propone gas restrictions, and I am pleased with the news today that the department will make sure the chemical security rules apply to dangerous chemical facilities and will not unnecessarily burden chicken farmers in Delaware and nationwide.”
Earlier this year, DHS proposed chemical security regulations that would have affected anyone using 7,500 pounds or more of propane fuel, which would have included small- and medium- sized poultry farms in Delaware. Today, DHS raised the propane limit to 60,000 pounds. In addition, any tank that stores less than 10,000 pounds of propane will not be counted toward the 60,000-pound limit. This change will ensure small- and medium- scale farmers are not affected by the regulations.
In their letter, the three Delmarva senators noted that, “the raising of poultry is a major industry and a key driver of economic growth in our states. … Farmers are concerned that this rule and the subsequent regulations that come with it are unnecessarily burdensome.”    
Sen. Carper will be in Kent County on Monday, November 5, 2007, and available for most of the day for interviews on this issue. Please contact Emily Cunningham at (302) 598-4915 to set up an interview with Sen. Carper.