L to R: Attorney General Russell Coleman and Agriculture Commissioner Jonathan Shell

Attorney General Coleman, Commissioner Shell Oppose New Biden Administration Proposal that Targets Kentucky’s Meat and Poultry Processing Industry

FRANKFORT, KY – Attorney General Russell Coleman and Agriculture Commissioner Jonathan Shell are opposing a new Biden Administration proposal that targets Kentucky’s meat and poultry processing industry.

In a pair of letters, the Kentucky statewide officials condemned both the policy and legality of the proposal.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced far-reaching requirements that would decimate family-run meat and poultry processors by forcing even small operations to build massive and costly water treatment plants. Complying with the regulation could cost millions of dollars for Kentucky entrepreneurs for initial installation and hundreds of thousands in annual maintenance and testing. Many mom-and-pop meat producers would likely shutter.

“This bureaucratic overreach is a direct attack on rural Kentucky,” said Attorney General Coleman. “Local meat and poultry producers provide safe, affordable food for our families and good-paying jobs for Kentucky communities. Saddling them with this reckless regulatory burden is irresponsible and will only eliminate jobs for hardworking Kentuckians.”

Roughly 120 meat and poultry processors are operating in Kentucky. The EPA’s rule would devastate Kentucky farm families and disrupt the entire farm to table supply chain. With processed beef potentially reaching record highs this year as a result of historic inflation, government should be giving families a break, not piling on.

“Agriculture is economic development. In Kentucky, it’s an $8 billion industry. Even under the EPA’s preferred option, 16 processing facilities nationwide are expected to close. If the EPA’s reckless rule closes even one processing facility in Kentucky, it would crush the entire supply chain, including jobs,” said Agriculture Commissioner Shell. “I will always stand up for our farming communities not only to secure the food supply but to protect the heritage and what has become a way of life to those across our state.”

The Biden Administration’s overburdensome regulation will erase millions of dollars invested in Kentucky agriculture. With a focus on rural economic development, conservative estimates show Kentucky has invested in agricultural development and financing to the tune of $696 million.

According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, there are no known or historical claims of a meat or poultry processor in Kentucky with any reported violation of the Agriculture Water Quality Act—which has proactively regulated surface and groundwater resources since 1994.

Attorney General Russell Coleman joined a 27-state coalition of attorneys general opposing the rule. Agriculture Commissioner Jonathan Shell pushed back against the disastrous plan in a comment letter to the EPA.




Submit Press Releases